One of the most hotly anticipated cars in the paddock has been the new Chrysler Saratoga Top Doorslammer of Victorian Peter Kapiris and the Murray Anderson-built machine made its debut appearance today in testing at Willowbank.
Kapiris said the car has already proven itself somewhat with an easy 6.20 pass, beyond what he thought it could achieve in the early stages.
“The first day of testing has been fantastic, it did a launch and everything it was supposed to,” he said.
“The first full pass it ran a 6.20, I feel comfortable that we can go after it tomorrow.”
The wild body style was actually not one picked by Kapiris. He told Murray Anderson he wanted a new chassis when Anderson put him onto one he already had part built before the buyer pulled out of the deal.
“The body choice was all Murray’s and I’m rapt,” Kapiris said.
The swooping body passed all approvals a long time ago and is fully legal for Top Doorslammer in the ANDRA Pro Series.
“I didn’t go to Murray and tell him to build me that car, this is what he come up with, a lot of these blokes who get in trouble say what (body style) they want, I just said I want a Doorslammer,” he said.
Kapiris explained that the Saratoga has been built from the ground up as four link suspension car, as opposed to the previous Studebaker which was initially constructed with a ladder bar set up.
“This is made for a four link, it’s just a different car,” he said.
“The other car was really rigid, this one is a bit forgiving.”
While the 13 year old Studebaker sat right on weight, the Saratoga comes in well underneath which allows the team to shift around weight to better balance it out. Shifting weight in the Studebaker obviously impacted on the overall weight needed.
“When the car is on weight every time you try to balance it you shoot yourself in the foot,” he said.
“Now we can put it wherever we want it to settle the car.”
The first day of testing brought plenty of positive data for the Kapiris Bros Racing team.
If you had told Peter Kapiris they would already have a low six second pass under the belt then he wouldn’t have believed you.
“I’m as happy as I could ever be, if I said to you I’d like to do this, I have done that and above,” he said.
“The car felt so good, even the first pass was good. We had a slight oil leak when one of the fittings came loose and that prevented us going out again.”
After testing is complete it will be off to the Fuchs Nationals in Sydney, though the car still doesn’t quite meet Kapiris’s high expectations appearance wise.
“We haven’t painted it yet, it’s just in gel coat, we just didn’t have the time,” he said.
“We packed the car up in Melbourne (to go to Willowbank) and hadn’t even started it, all the boys put it together, we pushed it in the container and got to Brisbane and started it for the first time.”
Drag News Australia will bring you more information about the early testing of the car as it comes to hand.