After a stunning start to the season that included his first Supercharged Outlaws win, his first 6 second pass and his first 200mph pass, Brodie Zappia went through a rollercoaster of emotions at the Quarter Mile Masters at Perth Motorplex on Saturday.
The JK Construction Camaro was in many pieces just hours before the event, as the team chased down oil breathing issues and made improvements to the parachute mounts.
“We found the car was breathing quite heavily at the Grand Opening, so we ripped it down to a bare block to find any issues,” Brodie said. “I had to do some machining before I could reassemble the motor and I didn’t finish that until the Thursday before the event.
“On Friday night Tony Wood from Tony Wood Fabrications came straight from work to fabricate my parachute mounts. He was there from midnight to early morning. Meanwhile Lachlan, Adam (from Pedders Suspension and Brakes Booragoon) and I were rebuilding the motor. We were sealing up the manifold and reconnecting the fuel system by Saturday morning. We had the car running shortly after then had to head to the track with minimal sleep!”
Fortunately Brodie was able to get the car prepared for the first round of Supercharged Outlaws qualifying.
The JK Construction Camaro clocked a 7.17/194mph, with Brodie sensing the car losing power at the top end. “The silicone hose holding my intake pipe onto the carby blew off at about 1000 feet, so effectively we lost all boost,” he said.
The second qualifying session was another bust, with a setup tweak not producing the changes Brodie wanted. “I raised the wheelie bars a bit to transfer weight better. It got up on the wheelie bars and shook and turned left. As it put the front wheels down the shake caused the car to shift into second gear early. Then we had another silicone joiner fail on the pipe! With only a 7.76 pass we really had nothing to go off for racing, we just had to reset the car to how it ran at the first meeting of the season.”
With a guessed 6.98 dial-in, Brodie had to take on Kasey McClure, regarded as one of the toughest drivers in the class! She lived up to that reputation, hitting a 0.010 on the tree to Brodie’s 0.021. “I drove around her and backed off a little too much for a 7.010 on a 6.98 dial-in to Kasey’s 7.399 on a 7.36 dial-in. I was spewing but that’s racing and considering I had no idea what the car was going to run we did very well. Had I stayed on the throttle I probably would have gone either dead-on or just under the dial-in. There was a very small window for the win given Kasey’s excellent pass.”
Despite the 0.002 loss, Brodie’s performance earned him a place in the B Final against family friend Vince Belladonna’s Torana.
The gremlins worked their way back into the car as it refused to fire for the final, but fortunately Belladonna’s team came to the rescue with their fuel bottle, which helped Brodie’s motor start. “The start of my run was good but it shook the tyres; I tried to drive through but it got worse and worse. My shifter relay vibrated enough to open and change gears way too early, dropping two tenths off my time. Vince came around me and backed off, his 6.682 on a 6.50 beating my 7.204 on a 6.95.”
Once again, Brodie had lost the race by just 0.002, but the young gun was positive about what is to come. “We have a big event coming up next with the Goldenstates on November 24-25. If you haven’t been to the Perth Motorplex so far this season it will be a great event to attend, with the NDRC Funny Cars and Top Doorslammers there to put on a great show. We’ll be hoping to return to the winner’s circle of Supercharged Outlaws to put our championship hopes back on track.”
NAMING RIGHTS SPONSOR:
Pedders Suspension and Brakes Booragoon
High Speed Engineering, Tony’s Auto Wreckers, Allfast Torque Converters, Impact Heavy Equipment Maintenance, CP Carrillo Rods and Pistons, Klik Creative, Kounis Group, Race MAX Direct, Advanced Product Design (APD), FUCHS Lubricants, NGK Spark Plugs, Mr T Racing, B.L. & S.G. Lake Brick Cartage