Zappia wins 36th Annual Goldenstates Championship in Perth

John Zappia won Round Three of the ANDRA Top Doorslammer Championship at Kwinana Motorplex this weekend with a stunning array of low et passes that blitzed the thirteen car field.

Zappia top qualified with a 6.025et @ 239.36 with two of the three qualifying runs available.

“The weekend was a real success for the team, and everything ran smooth and to plan. Winning the event to extend our lead in the Championship, and getting consistently into the fives were the main focus” said Zap, “the five in the semi final against Benny was a benchmark for us, and it was only the track condition late at night that prevented another in the final.”

“The Striker HQ Monaro has now run five 5 second passes with the new TFX/PSI combination. We ran five 5 second passes with the old Walt Austin BAE/Whipple combo, but I know this new combo has more potential for me as a tuner.”

“Most teams struggled with getting the power to the ground on the new concrete surface here at the Perth Motorplex. We use our own four link rear end, which takes longer to set up but provides a better result for us long term. The B & J transmission also makes a big difference over the Lenco – a fact most teams are happy to ignore.”

“The Mickey Thompson tyres were excellent for us over the weekend, with minimal tyre shake and good traction.”

“The meeting was the first for new major sponsor Force Tools Australia, who was thrilled with the exposure and win for the team.”

The Striker Monaro top qualified on Friday night with a 6.025et @ 239.36mph after a first pass of 6.087@236.84. Weather interruptions forced the third qualifying session to be cut short, and teams were offered a last session on the Saturday afternoon at 3pm.

“We chose to sit out the third Saturday qualifier due to the unstable weather conditions and the fact we were on our last blower belt, and I thought we should save the car for eliminations. We are excellent at thrashing and completing amazing turnarounds, but we are getting used to a more planned and professional approach to our racing.”

First elimination round was a safe straight 6.051et @ 238.72mph pass for Zap to take the win over Robyn Judd’s 6.173et @ 241.28mph. Second round saw Zap get more serious in his tuning, thrilling his local crowd with a 5.956et @ 239.36mph win over Ben Brays tyre shaking 6.804et @ 163.33mph.

“I saw the final as an excellent opportunity to set our quickest time ever, but the car shook a little and I had to pedal – I think Steve had the same problem in the other lane, as the track was a little cold that late in the night. A 6.144et @ 234.98mph was enough to beat Stanic’s 6.580et @ 231.36mph.”

John Zappia now leads the ANDRA Top Doorslammer Championship on 343 points, ahead of Stanic on 240, Bishop on 185, Phillips on 160 and the Brays on 155 and 150 points.

“It’s a good lead, and hopefully this may be our year with a lot of luck and a more professional approach bringing us success. Makes up for the last couple of seasons as runner-up, where we had a lot of unforced errors and failures.”

“We will now run three local meetings to test new equipment in preparation for Round 4 of Top Doorslammer on 15 – 16th Feb at the N R M A Summernationals in Western Sydney International Dragway.”

Following is a brief recap of the event by Simon Cope …

Motorplex web site

After rain disrupted Friday night qualifying the last few teams that did not get a chance to run were permitted to run a special 3 pm session on Saturday afternoon. After the dust settled though the qualifying order didn’t really change much with an unusually slow 6.40 bump for the Doorslammers.

Regardless of the bump the field was packed with heavy hitters all capable of taking out the event, as long as they can knock Zappia out who has shown consistently outstanding form over the last several meetings and qualified with over a tenth on the rest of the field. Most teams struggled in qualifying without showing their best in the tricky conditions but everyone needs the points in the Championship chase so nothing will be left in the trailer.

Top Doorslammer Round 1

With the traditional blessing and National Anthem completed at 6pm it was time to get racing under way with the Top Doorslammers out first.

Gary Phillips and Ben Bray are out first through the tunnel, some businesslike burnouts they are back and into stage quickly, both leave well but Phillips strikes a little shake around 330’ and has to peddle and the timers tell the story with a 6.36 for Phillips to Bray’s tidy 6.12 as they start to get after the tuneup.

Second pair out is Steve Stanic and Stuart Bishop in their immaculate Camaro’s, Stanic and old hand at the Motorplex but struggling at recent events here. This is Bishop’s first competition lap here so it will be interesting to see which way they have gone with the tune since they qualified well ahead of Stanic. Both cars strike trouble early on though, Bishop is all over the track off the line and aborts and it’s shake for Stanic and he peddles it through to take with win with a 6.23. Later on we find out Bishop really had his hands full – the quick-release steering wheel came free on the launch!

Peter Kapiris and Brett Stevens out for the third pair, Kapiris coming to grips with a new tuner on the spanners and Brett looking to turn the event around for the team with only one car qualified. True to form Brett runs through to take the win with a tidy 6.14 win after thrashing with an engine change overnight. In the other lane Kapiris has a shake around 100’ and has to peddle slowing the run to a 6.45.

Final pairing out now, it’ll be Robin Judd up against top qualifier John Zappia who can play it safe and conserve the car a bit, sure enough it’s a straight and soft looking 6.05 for Zappia and a solid and well improved 6.17 from Judd however it’ll be Zappia through to the semis.

Top Doorslammer Round 2

Round 2 of Top Doorslammer and Brett Stevens just squeaks into the lanes after a massive thrash to replace another engine and drivetrain in Jack Daniel’s Falcon. He will be up against Stanic, so this should be a great race. Stanic is out with a wheelstand in the top of first gear and then powers straight down track for a great 6.06 to put Stevens out of action, despite a consistent 6.18 from the Ford. It looks like Brett might not have expected that from the Camaro tonight!

On the other side of the ladder we have Ben Bray vs crowd favourite John Zappia, the Bray camp will have to throw everything at this to try to get past Zappia and into the finals. Ben is out with a good RT, but it looks like they’ve gone too far as the car steps out on Ben at the 330’ mark. Zappia meanwhile has it running like it’s on rails, he blitzes past Benny to run a meeting best (so far!) 5.95!!! which brought the house down as the fans went wild when the numbers flashed up on the read out borads..

Top Doorslammer Final

With the air hovering around 170’ all eyes are on John Zappia who announced his intention to reclaim the world Doorslammer record, currently held by an American at 5.912. Zappia will need a 5.911 or better, the air is certainly there to make the horsepower but will they be able to stick it to the track?

Strong burnouts from both cars and there’s a lot of ice on Zappia’s hat in the dense air tonight after the long back up. Zappia out on the green with a much improved RT but still not match for Stanic’s lightning 0.058. The Monaro doesn’t stick as well as they hoped though and it starts to move around into second gear, a quick peddle and still manages to take the win with a 6.14. Steve Stanic meanwhile also has to peddle the Camaro and runs through for a 6.58.