More adaptable and sharper on the tree – that will be Daniel Gregorini’s mantra this season as he aims to wrest the Direct Mining International Summer Slam championship from arch rival John Zappia, and maybe even the track record.
The opening round of the Direct Mining International Summer Slam season takes place this Saturday at Perth Motorplex, where Gregorini will have some new equipment aboard his 3500 horsepower Chev Camaro, ready for the war to come.
“We have finally purchased some different gearbox ratios and stators for the converter, for the first time since going to our five-speed auto combo three years ago,” he explained. “We tested them out on a test day two weeks ago and even with the blistering heat and a freshly scraped race track we managed to clock a 5.80/250mph off the trailer. We have decided to leave the new combo in for this Saturday’s opening of the Direct Mining International Summer Slam.”
The gearbox changes will allow Gregorini to have a more flexible tune-up when track conditions change, but he has also added components to improve his reaction times for valuable hundredths of a second gains over his opponents on every run.
“We have purchased an upgraded two-step air solenoid system, the best that Quickdrive have to offer,” he said. “The dump valves are way quicker, which means quicker reaction times. If we can run 5.6s with good reaction times we are forcing our opponents to try and run 5.5s every lap.”
Top Doorslammers are renowned for being difficult to control with their high horsepower supercharged engines, suspended rear ends and heavy weight, but Gregorini believes his Scratch & Match team has found the sweet spot for their Camaro.
“Consistency is the key to winning the championship,” he said. “We lap this car and it goes nine out of every 10 laps, generally in the 5.7s region. Our current personal best is a 5.65 and our goal this season is to make consistent 5.6 second runs. If the air conditions permit, we would love to see a 5.50 pop up too.”
Gregorini has made no secret of his rivalry with John Zappia. Once Gregorini’s childhood hero, there is now no love lost between the two competitors.
“The rivalry between me and Zappia will continue where it left off and we won’t be leaving anything in the trailer – it’s game on,” he said.
The importance of the Summer Slam Series to the Motorplex is greater than ever before, with travel restrictions nationally making it difficult for interstate teams to visit one of Australia’s best motorsport venues this season. Western Australian fans now have access to a legitimate heads-up championship that takes place entirely on home turf.
“As the teams keep stepping up and performing in one of the newest and greatest Top Doorslammer series in the country, I suspect it’s going to be closer than it’s ever been before,” Gregorini said.
The Direct Mining Industrial Summer Slam Series takes place this Saturday, with sportsman qualifying from 11am and the feature program from 5.30pm.