Bray and Pilkington winners at the Plex.

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Old sparring partners Victor Bray and John Zappia matched up again at Perth Motorplex on Saturday night with Bray emerging as the upset winner in round two of the ANDRA Top Doorslammer championship.

It was a night to remember for Bray, with the Queensland-based tomato farmer also running his first ever five second passes, a 5.96 in the semi finals backed up with a 5.95 in the final.

The finals match up of Bray, a six times champion, and Zappia, a five times champion, had the crowd salivating. When Zappia got loose early in his run Bray was able to stretch the legs of the Sidchrome 57 Chev through to the finish line and his first win since September 2006.

“It is great to win again, it feels terrific, it gives everyone an uplift,” he said. “It’s been tough with the way John Zappia and all the boys have stepped up over the years.”Bray said running his first five second pass came with much relief.

“I thought ‘you beauty’, I don’t have to go to my grave not running a five,” he said. “We had to step it up but we still concentrated on consistency, I think now we know which way to head with it.”

Series points leader Peter Kapiris was a shock first round loser to debutant Pat Carbone, but still holds the lead in the championship with 160 points, followed by Bray on 122 and Zappia on 118.

In Top Alcohol Rob Pilkington followed up his 2011 Goldenstates win with the 2012 version as well. The win didn’t come the way Pilkington would have liked, with his opponent Craig Glassby barely running out of time to make it to the start line before the noise curfew in the all-WA final.

“Overall we have earned it this weekend, we’ve done all the right things,” he said. “We were hoping to run a 5.50 in the final but we weren’t quite there. But as the night went on we were able to make progress and we kept going forward.”

Pilkington said he will give some consideration to attending another round of the championship, though he is primarily a Perth-based racer.
“It will be a wait and see game, we’ve got a little bit of time until the next round to think about it,” he said.

Gary Phillips picked up the Top Alcohol series lead at the event with 114 points, followed by Pilkington on 108, Steve Reed on 106 and John Cannuli on 105.

The next championship round of Top Doorslammer will be at the return of ANDRA championship drag racing to Calder Park on February 16-17 while Top Alcohol will head to Adelaide on February 23-24.

Click here for a high resolution image of the Top Doorslammer final (Zappia near lane, Bray far lane).
Click here for a high resolution image of Rob Pilkington.
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