Kapiris hopeful of hat trick

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The ANDRA Pro Series continues its Perth stretch with Top Doorslammer and Pro Stock enjoying their last round of the western swing on March 3 and 4.

There may again be a dominant driver, but it is a new face to previous years.

Victorian Peter Kapiris seems to have taken the mantle from Western Australian John Zappia, a four times champion, with his new Dodge Saratoga proving consistently quick.

Kapiris knows what it takes to be a champion, in the early 2000s his Studebaker was almost unbeatable.

While the learning curve for his Saratoga was steep, the team has come to terms with the set up and has run as quick as 5.80s with top speeds well over 400kmh. Kapiris said it was all down to the manhours behind the scenes.

“It’s hard work, the boys Jeff and Mark are relentless, going back and analysing runs – I’m talking days of work,” he said. “Towards the end of the Studebaker era we were already starting testing for the Saratoga so that helped a lot. We never really got runs on the board not having a home track and that is why the Saratoga took us nearly a whole season to get it going.”

The wrench time was worth it and increased racing opportunities have allowed Kapiris to really get comfortable in the driver’s seat.

“I don’t have the luxury of a home track, but I am so comfortable in the new car it is ridiculous,” he said. “I looked at the video the crew took and didn’t realise it was that skatey. It’s a lot to do with track time and getting comfortable in the car. The eighth mile series is giving me racing nearly every weekend.”

Kapiris was referring to the Slamfest series which has provided some new venues to race at in addition to the competitive ANDRA Pro Series.

The team has produced two straight event victories from two events and a dominant lead in the points.

In the last round of the ANDRA Pro Series, also held in Perth, Kapiris nearly took the clean sweep, with a win, top qualifying position and low elapsed time points. The only points he missed were for top speed which went to arch rival Zappia.

Zappia’s normally clockwork Procomp Motorsport Monaro has seemingly encountered some difficulties since Perth, doing some engine damage including a spectacular explosion in the final against Kapiris.

Kapiris made it no secret the team has championship aspirations, which would be boosted if he can take the hat trick.

“I’ve got both eyes on it, if I do well in Perth it is just about wrapped up,” he said.

As well as points, the team is pushing performance margins ever closer to the 5.7s zone, a mark Kapiris believes they can achieve.

“The car will run a 70 no problem,” he said. “Perth is really hot during the day so the 6pm (qualifying) session is average but the 8pm session is killer. The air there is usually really good, depending on the weather.”

Qualifying begins on March 3 from 6pm, with eliminations on March 4 from 6pm also. The Westernationals is held over the Labour Day long weekend at Perth Motorplex.

For ticketing details go to www.motorplex.com.au.

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