Not since Victor Bray and the original wild bunch tour has Tassie been rocked like it was at Slamfest on Feb 18. With the exception of the odd visit by the likes of the Brays’, Fabietti and Stevens the apple isle has endured a drought of group 1 action. Over twelve months in the planning and due in no small part to the support given by Peter Kapiris, the Brays and Maurice Fabietti Slamfest Tassie was a huge success and testament to what a small but dedicated group of people can achieve.
The track received a concrete launch pad, temporary walls and a host of other mods including moving the quarter mile timers back to the eighth to ensure the event could go ahead. The Doorslammer brigade spread word out across the state to compliment and support the already large amount of advertising the TDRA (Tasmanian Drag Racers Association) was doing to promote the event, culminating in a meet and greet at the Launceston Country Club Casino on the Thursday night prior the event.
Due to Tassie’s notorious dewy evenings the normal program was brought forward to give the doorslammers every chance of getting through their show before mother nature intervened. Actually I suppose she smiled upon us as about the only place it didn’t rain on the day was the track, and whilst this kept the crowd down a little, the nearly 4000 people that did turn up witnessed a very professional show. Not just by the ‘slammers but local racers and track staff as well.
The Doorslammers put on a fantastic show with quicker and faster times being recorded as the day went on and more rubber went down on the virgin concrete. Two of the guys from Portland did a terrific job in prepping the track and passing on info to the local crew.
Slamfest qualifying kicked off at noon and straight away it was evident by the 1.0 sixty foot times being recorded we were in for a big day. Gary Phillips sat atop of the heap with a very stout 4.22 sec pass at a whopping 176 mph!! Closely followed by Kapiris and Zappia.
QUALIFIER RT 60′ 330′ ET MPH
495 Tony Defelice 0.065 1.221 4.600 166.36
3319 Russell Pavey 0.434 1.062 4.492 140.85
590 Maurice Fabietti 0.161 1.067 4.667 128.57
1221 Victor Bray 0.223 1.162 5.021 110.97
76 Gary Phillips 0.163 1.021 4.222 176.47
4 Peter Kapiris 0.199 1.068 4.236 165.44
670 Frank Mamone 0.311 1.183 5.459 103.57
4444 Marcus Chambers 0.207 1.484 4.905 166.98
2639 Ben Bray 0.135 1.048 4.341 171.10
846 John Zappia 0.266 1.110 4.290 172.08
67 Mark Belleri 0.244 2.322 8.794 144.46
Philips again set the mark in round one with a 4.174 at over 182 mph until Zaps dropped everyone’s jaws with an awesome 4.161 at a hauling 190 MPH. Kapiris continued his solid Slamfest form nipping at their heels with a 4.18 win over Mark Belleri making his first Slamfest appearance for the season and Russell Pavey’s 4.56 win over Chambers would be the unlucky dog winning but not quick enough to proceed further in competition along with Tony Defelices after a dramatic first round encounter.
In what can only be described as sheer bad luck, Maurice Fabietti grabbed a big share of the media attention, for all the wrong reasons. After getting loose and crossing into Tony Defelice’s lane in the first round, Fabietti appeared to stab the throttle in a bid to get out of Tony’s way and back into his own lane. His car darted across the track striking the wall in his lane. As Fabietti wrestled to get control he closed in on the back of Defelice’s car and the left chute entangled itself around Monaro’s rear wing. As Fabietti slowed Defelice’s momentum pulled him around backwards and as the rear slicks dug in the Monaro did two complete barrel rolls. Both drivers were uninjured and the damage to Fabietti car not as bad as one might expect given what took place, but it will rule him out of the Westernationals in two weeks time.
Spectacular footage from AVE of the accident.
ROUND ONE RT 60′ 330′ ET MPH RESULT
495 Tony Defelice 0.511 1.115 4.380 165.48 WIN
590 Maurice Fabietti 0.023 1.153 4.868 121.95 LOSE
3319 Russell Pavey 0.124 1.076 4.569 160.71 WIN
4444 Marcus Chambers 0.203 1.647 5.563 106.89 LOSE
76 Gary Phillips 0.162 1.045 4.174 182.19 WIN BYE
4 Peter Kapiris 0.148 1.054 4.188 178.93 WIN
67 Mark Belleri 0.134 1.184 8.535 52.69 LOSE
1221 Victor Bray 0.192 1.041 4.318 166.05 LOSE
2639 Ben Bray 0.154 1.054 4.277 172.41 WIN
846 John Zappia 0.636 1.080 4.161 190.00 WIN
670 Frank Mamone 0.486 1.794 16.542 29.51 LOSE
In the semi’s Kapris and Zappia showed they were here to race collectively making their way to the final with 4.1’s at over 170 mph.
SEMI FINAL RT 60′ 330′ ET MPH RESULT
76 Gary Phillips 0.112 1.058 4.269 174.08 LOSE
4 Peter Kapiris 0.123 1.034 4.152 176.13 WIN
846 John Zappia 0.158 1.050 4.120 189.87 WIN
2639 Ben Bray 0.075 1.048 4.266 174.42 LOSE
The final had a huge hush over the track, if it can be hushed with two Doorslammers up on the two steps, Kapiris left first but had a couple of peddles before coasting through while Zappia sat the entire place on its backside with a miracle drive job in a far from straight pass recording the quickest and fastest run of the event, a staggering 4.077 at 191mph. P.K then proceeded to drive back up the track to the startline for the presentations much to the delight of the crowd.
FINAL RT RT 60′ 330′ ET MPH RESULT
846 John Zappia 0.158 1.039 4.077 191.49 WIN
4 Peter Kapiris 0.106 1.071 5.578 88.76 LOSE
As those that had witnessed 1/8 mile action before had attested to, the racing was fast and furious, not to mention close in all the brackets.
Notable performance where put in by many locals but none better than the 4.30 sec pass by Mike Evans in his Camaro. Evans who has been struggling to get the car to perform consistently flew in Camp Stanley from the states and it certainly paid dividends taking the Supercharged Outlaws class win in a very close one over Chris marsh’s blown Torana.
Crash Bower on Tassie’s fastest Harley top qualified and took out the bike final over a red lighting Shane Walker on his destroyer, whilst Tony Pyke aboard the ex Alex Borg turbo Hayabusa finally got some track time and ended up braking out in the semi’s with the days quickest time of 6.033 seconds.
The Super sedan bracket was won by Terry Johnson in his Chev powered RX7.
Super Street by Leroy Bowerman and the Street cars by Melanie Marsh.
In all it was a fantastic day and a credit to the TDRA members, track staff, local racers and last but certainly not least each and everyone of the ‘slammer drivers and their crews ….. Roll on next year!!!
Report by Shane Walker
Photos by Yvonne King & www.angrymanphotography.com.au