John Zappia and the Fuchs/Dananni Hotshots Monaro have kept a perfect season at Perth Motorplex in tact with victory at the third round of the WA Drag Racing Championships on Saturday.
After winning the opening round of the Summer Slam Series in November, Zappia had a different challenge – Top Comp. This drag racing division is unique to Western Australia and combines Top Doorslammers, Top Alcohol Dragsters and Funny Cars, plus supercharged Comp vehicles on a variety of handicaps.
After skipping the first qualifying session, Zappia came out for the compulsory qualifying session where a pedalling 6.34 second run that would leave him in sixth position for the 12-car field.
“We over did it a bit on that run,” he said. “But everyone else was having some trouble too so we actually qualified okay in the order.”
Zappia was seeded against Frank Taylor’s Top Doorslammer Chevelle for the elimination round. There the Fuchs/Dananni Hotshots team returned to the form they are renowned for running a 5.68 at 253.94mph for the win and a spot in the A Final.
“We backed the tune off a little bit and down it went for the 5.68,” Zappia explained. “The car performed really well, and we knew that was the run that counted to get us into the A Final.
“(The 5.68) actually came easily. It rattled the tyres early and I short shifted, but it still put a good time up on the boards – so there is plenty left there.”
For the final round Zappia faced one of WA drag racing’s most experienced drivers, Wayne Keys. While Keys and Zappia would normally go ‘heads up’ and get the green light at the same time, Keys’ Chev Camaro is eligible for the AA/AP class and benefited from an easier handicap.
What was building to an entertaining match up became a foregone conclusion when Keys left a red light on the tree.
“I saw Wayne’s red light, I was sure I saw it and had the win so once I saw my amber lights come on I was out of there,” Zappia said.
“We ran a 5.76 on our 5.72 handicap while Wayne went 6.08 on his 6.03 handicap, so had we seen some green lights on the tree it would have been a very close race.
“That’s two wins in a row at Perth Motorplex now so we’d love to try and shoot for a perfect season at our home track.”
With the team race ready, Zappia and crew are now preparing for New Year’s Thunder at Willowbank Raceway on January 5, the third round of the 400 Thunder Pro Slammer Championship.
“Willowbank in January is a different kettle of fish to Willowbank in June when the Winternationals are held,” Zappia said. “In hot conditions it is a different surface to deal with and obviously trickier to get down the track.
Zappia currently sits second in the championship, 15 points behind fellow Western Australian Kelvin Lyle.
“Kelvin’s first win in Sydney was great to see. We didn’t have much luck there so hopefully we can turn our fortunes around in Queensland.”
“Looking forward to catching up with our East Coast Sponsors, Crew and fans to celebrate Christmas and the New Year.”