John Zappia is used to late season charges to earn his five Top Doorslammer titles but says for this season it is points leader Peter Kapiris’ championship to lose with just two events remaining.
The Top Doorslammer field heads to Adelaide International Raceway (AIR) from September 20-21 for the Lady Daly Hotel Springnationals and Zappia says his Fuchs team will need nothing short of perfection to be in the running.
“I need to do everything possible to win it and it’s all in Peter’s hands to lose it,” he said. “If Peter doesn’t do anything wrong he can’t lose.
“I’d rather be on top but there’s many of our championships we’ve won coming from behind. A couple of first round loses for anyone can turn it all around.”
The season so far has been fickle for Zappia despite his second position in the points. The WA-based national record holder is yet to take an event win for the season while Kapiris has two on the books.
“Not qualifying at the Nationals in Sydney last year put us behind right from the start,” he said. “We’ve had bad luck but then any time Peter has had bad luck I wasn’t there to take advantage.”
With the tour now heading to AIR, it presents one of the biggest challenges of the season as the first time there has been a championship round over 1000 feet and the first time it has been to AIR since 2000.
“Adelaide is a big unknown, the traction there is the most different out of all the tracks we race at,” he said. “The track is getting better and better and I’m quietly confident I can master it.
“The 1000 feet is to my advantage because Peter’s big top end speed won’t come into play as much over that distance. If we come out of Adelaide smiling it will mean the championship is doable at the Australian Nationals in November.”
Zappia expects low five second times and with new sponsor Process Resource Group on board the first four second pass over 1000 feet by a Top Doorslammer at AIR may be a possibility.
“We should be able to get it into the fours, it depends on how good that part of the track from 1000 to 200 feet is and what the weather brings,” he said. “The air conditions are going to be killer at this time of year and overpowering the track will be on the cards for a lot of people. It’s working out how to tame it.”
Kapiris is currently 76 points ahead of Zappia, with six times champion Victor Bray also still in the hunt.
If Kapiris can stretch his lead to over 118 points then the championship will be entirely his, while anything over a lead of 98 points means he just has to make a qualifying pass at the season-ending Australian Nationals in Sydney to seal the deal.
The Top Doorslammers will be joined in Adelaide by Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle plus a round of the Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Championship.