Current and Five times Australian ANDRA National Champion, John Zappia made excellent progress in his championship bid, with a finals appearance in Adelaide at Round 7 of the Top Doorslammer Championship at the Lady Daly Hotel Springnationals, edging closer to leader Peter Kapiris. The Fuchs Lubricants / Striker Crushing Monaro were favourites to win after top qualifying and re-setting the track record, but unfortunately lost the final to young Benny Bray.
“We have got the gap down to 42 points, after gaining 98 points for the round with top qualifier, low ET, Top Speed and a finals finish. We are pretty happy with that, despite losing the finals. Congratulations on Ben Bray for his win – I know his crew worked hard for that win”. Qualifying on the Friday night started at 7pm and in John’s first pass, he got sideways in the burnout and struggled with traction in the right lane but ran a pedalling 6.525. Due to dew on the track and the cold conditions, it was decided to run the next set of qualifiers on Saturday.
“On the second qualifier the Crusher rattled hard in second, so I pedalled to tame it down but hit the limiter and blew the front burst panel out. The 5.305 showed us the car had some power, so we refined the tune up for the final session and ran a perfect 5.037 @ 223.82 to set fastest ET and quickest MPH for the meeting, and Top Doorslammer track record”. At 5pm in the Round 1 eliminations Zappia was matched up against Carbone, with Zap running a dead straight 5.050 for the win against Carbone’s 5.378.
“A Great run in the car, and that set us up against Kapiris in the semis – a real showdown for the two of us. I rattled at the top of first gear, pedalled and saw Peter disappear out of my view as I took the win with a 5.088. Pete’s lane failed to give a reading, but after viewing on-car video, we were confirmed as winners and went through to the final”.
Ben Bray defeated Bishop and Fabietti on his way to the final, and managed to literally blow a door off his Monaro in the braking area. After borrowing a door from Fabietti and delaying the final to 10.30pm the two Monaro’s lined up for the final.
“I didn’t get a good start after getting distracted by lights in my vision close to the tree, and also had a big pedal as the car rattled badly and headed sharply to the left. Young Benny had a better run and his 5.170 was good enough for the win”.
“The scene is set for an amazing final round in Sydney on 1st – 3rd November for the Australian Nationals, where the pressure will be high on a typically fast track for Doorslammers. We will test in Perth before that and see if we can get the Crusher to go even quicker – we need to match the speed Kapiris gets in his slippery Saratoga to maximise our points and improve our chance of taking out our sixth consecutive championship.”
Qualifying (1,000ft): ZAPPIA HQ Monaro 5.037 @ 223.82; BISHOP 67 Camaro 5.076 @ 217.12; B BRAY Monaro 5.178 @ 218.65; DACK Falcon 5.193 @ 219.03; KAPIRIS 59 Dodge 5.253 @ 221.34; FABIETTI Monaro 5.315 @ 198.76; V BRAY 57 Chev 5.345 @ 185.22; CARBONE 68 Camaro 5.555 @ 176.17: NQ – O’CONNOR 5.770 @ 207.18.
Eliminations (1,000ft) Round 1: ZAPPIA HQ Monaro 5.050 @ 226.35 def CARBONE 68 Camaro 5.378 @ 187.89; KAPIRIS 59 Dodge 5.274 @ 218.49 def DACK Falcon 5.375 @ 202.38; BISHOP 67 Camaro 5.055 @ 221.18 def V BRAY 57 Chev 5.934 @ 142.42; B BRAY Monaro 5.181 @ 211.81 def FABIETTI Monaro 5.191 @ 211.61:
Round 2: ZAPPIA HQ Monaro 5.088 @ 223.82 def KAPIRIS 59 Dodge 000; B BRAY Monaro 5.190 @ 218.71 def BISHOP 67 Camaro 5.439 @ 157.15: Final: B BRAY Monaro 5.170 @ 211.86 def ZAPPIA HQ Monaro 5.200 @ 222.33.