Reigning Australian Champion John Zappia gained valuable points in the ANDRA Pro Series Top Doorslammer Championship at the Goldenstates last weekend with a strong runner-up result in the Procomp Motorsport Monaro owned by Striker boss Craig Pedley.
In what turned out to be an eventful meeting, Zappia lost the rain delayed final to Mark Belleri in the Camaro after experiencing tyre shake and having to pedal. Congratulations to Mark on his first win in Top Doorslammer competition.
“It was touch and go with the running of the final due to a heavy downpour,” said Zappia, “and I was very reluctant to run given the conditions, but credit goes to the Perth Motorplex track crew for their persistence in cleaning and drying up the track. The ANDRA Stewards and Motorplex management gave the all clear, so we presented the Procomp Motorsport “Crusher” for racing . It was good to get a result both for the points and for the One HD television coverage, but I ended up hurting another engine and losing the race.”
A record twenty two cars entered for the event, all competing for eight positions in the field but was reduced to 21 after Victor Bray withdraw with illness. Friday nights qualifying was in cool weather and an increasingly cool track as the night went on. Only 24 of the 57 passes attempted by the 21 cars qualifying were representative passes as the cars struggled with the track conditions. Four local Perth racers made their debut in Top Doorslammer, joining the other seven West Australians taking on competitors from the Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.
John Zappia managed a 5.924 @ 243.24mph off the trailer, a pedaling 6.330 @ 234.98mph,and blew the tyres off in the final pass to end up second top qualifier behind Robin Judd on 5.845, and ahead of Fabietti 5.969, Belleri 5.994, Phillips 6.097, Ben Bray 6.112, Bishop 6.145 and first time qualifier Gregorini 6.157 on the bump.
“We had a soft tune up in it for the 5.924 to get in the field, then stepped it up for the second run but had shake and had to pedal. The crew swung the Force Tools hard and did a fantastic job changing a melted piston between runs, and by the time the last qualifier came around the air had improved and with the track cooling the car just blew the tyres off on the hit in the final qualifier. Overall we were happy with the result, as we are still trying new things to improve the overall performance in the car.
First round match up for Zap was up against Bishop in the Camaro, who blew the burst panel on the hit giving the win to the Zappia Racing Team with a 6.022 @ 238.09mph . Other winners were Gregorini 6.140 over Judd 6.115, and Belleri 5.998 over Phillips 6.694.
“We went back to the safer tune for this eliminator, but the track was different with more humidity and the car ended up a little lazy. The crew were under pressure again after it was decided to run another spare engine combo, but they got it in and poured the Fuchs oil in just in time for me to start the big hemi and warm it all up, and get to the staging lanes”.
The Semi Final saw Zap take on Fabietti, and take the win with a 6.007 @ 239.36mph over Fab’s 6.170 @ 234.37mph. Belleri (6.009) put Gregorini (6.442) away in the other semi to set up a thriller final.
“We turned the car around and were sitting in the staging lanes at 10pm when out of the blue the rain hit. It rained hard for five minutes and we were close to the event curfew time, when the decision was made to attempt a clean up. I have never seen so many vehicles and officials on the track heating, rubbing, mopping and wiping up! We had an in depth discussion with ANDRA Stewards about splitting the points and prize money when the track was given the all clear, and we were obliged to run.
“Unfortunately the track condition was totally different after all that washing and cleaning, and the Procomp Motorsport Monaro shook hard and I had to pedal – our 6.299 @ 221.67mph was unable to catch Belleri’s 6.109 @ 235.60mph. Overall we were happy with the result considering our times are a little off our normal five eights. We will be back to those performances for Round Three at Willowbank I can assure fans”.
The results for the weekends racing has made the Championship interesting after Belleri now leading on 227 points behind Judd (200), Fabietti (186),Zappia (151), and Phillips (132). The Championship race is very alive with 5 rounds to go and it could end up with another cliff hanger that could decide the Champion in the final race – as was the case last season.
Fans can now shop online at the new Zappia Racing Web Store to purchase the range of merchandise normally available at the track. Staff will be adding a large range of products from exclusive suppliers B & J Racing Transmissions, Santhuff Shocks, and Procomp and Zap will be listing a range of his second hand race parts as they become available. International fans can now purchase our Australian merchandise on a secure professional web store.
For more details, photos and videos go to www.zapsrat.com.au
Naming Rights Sponsors
Procomp Motorsports and Procomp Electronics
Striker Crushing and Screening, Fuchs, Force Tools Australia, Beta Spuds, Southside Engine Centre, Mickey Thompson, Noonan Race Engineering and PPG Automotive Refinish.
Santhuff, Victory1, B & J Racing Transmissions, Mi Camcorders, Current Trendz, Veem, Crow Cams, Aero Group – Avtrac Maintenance Tracking, Legend Boatbuilders, Taylor Tyres, Kounis Metal Industries, Bravo Resources, CIC High Performance Coatings, Aurora Bearings, and Competition Motorsports.