John Zappia showed why he is the three times and current Top Doorslammer Champion at the 40th Westernationals, by digging deep and getting back up to his high standard of performance after an average start to the season, and dominating the meeting.
Driving the Procomp Motorsport “Crusher” HQ Monaro, John Zappia top qualified on the Saturday night, won the event, and gained the Low ET and fastest MPH points to jump three spots and lead the Championship.
“This was one of the best meetings for a while” said an elated John Zappia during celebrations “Feels really good to be back in the five eight zone and at the top of the field again. Not that we were working any less during the last six months, it just shows how hard this form of racing is and it’s very easy to get lost with the hundreds of variables to consider”.
In a stunning weekend of Top Doorslammer racing in perfect Perth weather, the large local crowd was thrilled with both qualifying racing on the Saturday night, and with eliminations on Sunday.
Qualifying for the Zappia Racing Team started with a 6.007 @ 240.64mph off the trailer that shook the tyres on the sticky Perth Motorplex track causing Zap to pedal. The run still put him at No 1 spot after session one.
The next run of 5.821 @ 245.90mph thrilled the crowd as the Procomp Motorsport Monaro hooked up the rear Hoosier slicks and carried the front wheels off the ground all the way through first and again in second gear. The run consolidated Zap at the top qualifying position and he was presented with the Pro Auto $1000 bonus prize from Greg Carter.
The third pass again got out of the groove and required a pedal but still managed a 5.952 @ 245.23mph.
The eight drivers in order – Zappia, Fabietti, Abel, DeFelice, Belleri, Judd, Gregorini and Dack forced their way past the remaining eleven in the field, with a 6.061 bump spot setting the lowest bump spot in Top Doorslammer history.
“After measuring the track with our Track Meter we made some adjustments and took on local driver Marty Dack and won with a short shifting 5.857″. The track at the Perth Motorplex has been prepared extremely well at the last two meetings, thanks to all the track staff for their efforts.
Other winners in round one were Belleri 5.989 over DeFelice 6.243, Fabietti 5.924 over Gregorini’s no start and Judd 5.944 over Abel 6.044.
“I said to the crew that this next run would be a season changing run. We had drawn Belleri who was leading the points, and we had to beat him to stand a chance of winning a fourth Championship. We fine tuned the car and I drove a little better for a quick 5.807 @ 246.57mph pass that has turned our season around”.
Fabietti disposed of Judd in the other semi final with a 6.073 @ 243.90mph pass while Judd ended up crossing the centerline after tyre shake.
The Perth Motorplex was buzzing by the time finals time came around. Local hero John Zappia describes his win – “The car launched hard but went right and started to get out of the groove. I over corrected and ended up left and out of the groove which washed off some time. But it was all over for Maurice Fabietti after he had gearbox troubles in the other lane. We still went 5.827 @ 247.93mph which is impressive for the team as it was the Crusher’s fastest top speed ever, overtaking the best speed in my car – Zap’s Rat”.
“After having all the engine parts machined at Southside Engine Centre and protected by Fuchs Lubricants we raced all six runs with little maintenance and only mandatory engine checks”.
“The win was great for all our Sponsors, and newcomers K-Trans Racing and Alltools. It was great to see so many of our Sponsors in Perth for this event including Ken from Procomp who made the trip from Sydney, Craig Pedley from Striker who made the trip from Malaysia and Chris Lane from Striker who traveled from Brisbane.
ONE HD coverage of the ANDRA Pro Series Top Doorslammer Westernationals will be on Friday 18th March at 7pm Western Standard Time (Perth Time). Check your local guides.
Zap and the team head east to Sydney for Round 6 at Western Sydney Dragway on the 18th and 19th March.