Seven times back-to-back Australian ANDRA Top Doorslammer Champion John Zappia won the VPW Pro Series 1000 event this weekend, making it three from three in his chase for championship No 8 straight.
Adelaide International Raceway hosted the ANDRA sanctioned event, promoted and run by Racing Onn Promotions, running the shorter 1,000 feet compared to the full ¼ mile of 1320 feet.
“Rino did a great job preparing this track” said Zappia, “It held the power well, but is still tricky to drive on. The Fuchs/Striker Crushing and Screening Monaro rattled the tyres all weekend, and I had to really drive it as the car moved around”.
“We are excited about the win here in Round 3 of the Championship. It gives us a 136-point lead with two rounds to go. We still need to stay focused as we are far from safe and need to complete the season leaving nothing to chance”.
Qualifying on the Saturday saw perfect weather for the 12 teams presented. Off the trailer it was Pat Carbone who headed up Q1 with a 5.013, followed by Marty Dack 5.236.
“In my run the car launched good with a 1.01 60 foot time, but it rattled – I hit second and it rattled hard again. A second pedal and some fishtailing to correct saw the 5.26 good enough for third quickest”.
“We did some slight adjustments for Q2 and came out for a long smoky burnout when the throttle cable broke. I managed to idle back and sit out the round watching nervously”.
Nervous he was as Bishop went to second with a 5.096, Priolo third 5.134, O’Rourke 5.174, Fabietti 5.239, Kapiris 5.240 – leaving Zap on the bump spot in eighth.
“We left the car alone for Q3 as we reckon we had the settings right. First pairing out saw Goonan take my bump spot with a 5.210 and knock me out. Nothing like some pressure to qualify! But our setup proved spot on as the Crusher went dead straight to run a 4.882 to number 1 spot, giving us Top Qualifier, Top Speed and a new Adelaide Track Record”.
Dack improved with a 4.973 to go to second, Carbone finished third with his off the trailer 5.013, Fabietti’s 5.081 was enough for 4th and O’Rourke improved with a 5.152 to stay in 7th spot.
“Overnight the crew serviced the car and we basically left it alone for the round 1 match up against Goonan. It rattled hard in second though and a pedal on the throttle settled it down to run a winning 4.90 @ 230mph to Goonan’s 8.244 @ 73.57mph”.
Other Round 1 matchups saw Fabietti 5.074 @ 211.89mph win over Bishop 5.366 @ 207.78mph; O’Rourke 5.064 @ 222.55mph over Dack 5.535 @ 187.03mph; and Priolo 5.127 @ 221.13mph over Carbone 5.191 @ 209.82mph.
Round 2 Semi-Finals saw some great matchups with four of the top five championship contenders facing off.
First match up saw local Perth racer Pino Priolo take out ex Perth racer Grant O’Rourke in a pedal fest – 5.374 to 5.434. Second match up was series No 1 versus No 2 – John Zappia and Maurice Fabietti.
“The car rattled hard again in second and I had to pedal but got lucky as Maurice slid out of the groove with a 6.464. My 5.001 was enough to get a finals berth”.
“The track was just getting better and better, so we put more clutch in it for the final against Pino. We have raced him plenty of times over the years and he is consistently creeping down on his times. Definitely had to be careful in this race”.
The final saw the champ Zappia too strong for Priolo taking the win with a 4.910 @ 229mph over a 5.247 @ 216mph.
“The big power and setup of the Fuchs/Striker Crushing and Screening Monaro was strong all weekend. We are making good progress with getting better traction results – I think we underestimated the track a little. Luckily the B & J transmission we run allows me to have confidence with pedaling the throttle over and over again – they rarely damage parts”.
“Big thanks to the crew who work hard to get the setup right. All the 1% things that can make a difference when combined together”.
Zappia now leads the ANDRA Top Doorslammer Championship on 353 points, ahead of Fabietti 217, Priolo 165, Dack on 155 and O’Rourke on 145.
Zappia Racing now head back to Perth Western Australia to take part in the Perth Motorplex Grand Final on the 11th April, before heading back to Sydney for Round 4 on 1st – 3rd May.
Photos courtesy Hayley Turns – Outlaw Images