John Zappia is optimistic of getting back close to his record performances after taking the time to do some horsepower experiments on the Dananni Hotshots/ Tony’s Auto Wreckers Monaro Top Doorslammer.
Zappia was in test mode on December 12 at Perth Motorplex, making three runs with different Boninfante friction plates in the clutch, using his No 3 spare engine, and returning to manual gear shifting.
“Our first run was plagued by a misfire, so we put a fresh battery in, changed the coil leads, changed the plugs and went back out for the next run,” he said.
“The next pass Crusher ran a 5.82/399kmh without any sign of a misfire and not even tyre shake.”
The team pushed further with the experimental set up, but found the edge on the third run when the sticky Hoosier tyres began to spin shortly after launching.
“We thought the car was a little lazy in qualifying so we put more timing in off the line. It smoked the left tyre and the car turned left and crossed the centre line. I tried to pull it back, but I knocked out the 330 foot timing block, then I was heading for the wall but managed to pull it back with just a few inches to spare.”
After analysing the data from the run, Zappia determined that the clutch plates responded more aggressively than the team’s existing plates.
“We haven’t tried different friction plates for many years, and even though we weren’t quite on top of it, that’s what testing is for,” he said.
The team’s focus now turns to the third round of the Summer Slam on January 2, 2021 at the Nitro Slam event.
There are several good omens for Zappia. The first is that the event marks just under one year since his track record 5.585 pass on January 4, 2020.
“We’ve got our main Noonan 4.8 Hemi going back in, and for some reason the midway event of the season has always been a fast one for us,” he said.
The second is that he has just featured on a limited 200-bottle run of Methanol Moonshine, a finely distilled spirit that honours different motorsport legends each month.
“We’ve seen pictures of our Monaros in lots of places over the years but this is definitely the first time on a bottle,” Zappia laughed. “I know the crew are looking forward to trying some when we finish the next Summer Slam event, hopefully we can toast a win!”