A blazing summer day did little to stop John Zappia from racking up yet another win at Perth Motorplex, this time in the Top Comp bracket as part of round three of the WA Drag Racing Championships.
Making a wise choice and waiting for the 6pm compulsory qualifying session, Zappia opened his account positively with a 5.76 on his first pass down the track, giving him top qualifying honours by just three hundredths of a second from Russell Ladbrook.
The elimination round saw the Zappia Racing Holden Monaro take on fellow Top Doorslammer racer Matt Abel, with a slow reaction time making Zappia vulnerable.
“After our 6pm run we thought we were very safe so we tuned it up a bit more and sent it,” Zappia said. “My reaction time wasn’t great, and we gave Matt almost three tenths of a second on the start line. Fortunately for us Matt had troubles and I was able to drive around him with a 5.695. We didn’t get a speed reading as there was an issue with the timers but it looked okay from our data and given the hot and humid conditions it probably wasn’t one of our fastest speeds.”
The run was enough to send Zappia to the final, which proved to be a strange sequence of events as opponent Ladbrook lost fire after the burnout and had to be removed from the track before Zappia could stage.
“We had a long wait after Russell unfortunately had some troubles and I was getting a little worried because we were running low on fuel,” Zappia said. “I decided to only run the car to half track and then shut it off to avoid having a lean out issue. We went into stage and I got on the revs, but then nothing was happening on the Christmas tree. I got off the revs and waited again before we finally got a green light. By this stage the motor and clutch were pretty hot and as soon as I launched there was a lot of clutch dust in the car, making visibility difficult and rolling through for a 6.99.”
Leaving the track with another trophy in hand, Zappia said he was content with what the team were able to learn.
“We tried some stuff and it seemed to work okay. We worked on suspension and our tyres during the day and we have the car launching straight again – we think the car liked having a fresh set of Hoosier tyres on the back. Given the heat the track held up well and even with air density above 2000 feet we were able to run that 5.69 which is pretty good for those conditions.”
Now Zappia is very excited to race at the Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Car event on January 4, which also includes round two of the WA Summer Slam Series.
“I have only ever raced at one Aeroflow Outlaw Nitro Funny Car event before, but that was when they held it in December. The January date seems to attract huge numbers of spectators so that is something I am really looking forward to. The Summer Slam will be a great show alongside the Outlaw Nitro cars.”
Spectators are invited to join the Outlaw Nitro pit party and come to visit the Zappia Racing merchandise tent to check out the merchandise and the Zappia Racing Biante Monaro models.
Photo – Phil Luyer