Zappia back on top with Westernationals win.

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Australian Top Doorslammer Champion John Zappia won a hard fought Westernationals on the weekend in Perth Western Australia in the Fuchs Lubricants / Procomp Electronics Monaro to further his recent winning ways and jump to the top of the 2012 ANDRA Pro Series Championship ladder.

“My crew worked very hard all weekend” said an elated Zappia at the award ceremony, “From before the first eliminator right up to the final, the crew did an amazing job to change two engines using the Elora Tools retailed by Alltools, and help get the car down the track so quick”.

“Thanks to Southside Engine Centre who completed a lot of machining for us during the week leading up to the event”.

Zappia Racing had to sit out the first qualifier due to engine damage prior to racing, but came back strong with a 5.997 @ 243.24mph in the second qualifier.

“We tuned up the spare “Old Faithful” engine up for the next qualifier, and the car ran a great 5.866 @ 245.90mph to move to second position in the field behind Judd on 5.861 and ahead of Kapiris on 5.867. That’s pretty close racing that the good sized crowd really enjoyed”.

Bump spot for the eight car field was 6.139 held by Gary Phillips, meaning seven racers missed out on eliminations.

First round match up for Zap was Ben Bray who managed a 6.111 to qualify in seventh position. Bray grabbed a hole shot 0.087 over Zap’s 0.141 but immediately went up in smoke, and had to watch the Fuchs Lubricants / Procomp Electronics Monaro disappear on a 6.025 @ 224.43 pass that saw Zap torch a head gasket after half-track with a flash of flame – lift – then get back on to drive it out the back door in typical Zappia fashion.

“We just tuned it a little too much and it blew the head gasket – torching a nice big hole in the head and block. More work for Bravo Resources and Southside Engine Centre this coming week”.

Other winners in round one were Judd 6.662 over Phillips 15.205, Belleri 6.104 over Sutton 6.069, and the upset of the weekend Victor Bray 6.161 over Kapiris who hit the wall in uncharacteristic fashion.

The Zappia Racing crew set about completing their second engine change back in the pits, and had the engine started up at the same time as next opponent Victor Bray who also had an engine change to complete.

“I raced Victor in Portand at the Slamfest eighth mile event recently and he beat me on that occasion, so I was keen to turn that around. We saw this as a turning point in the Championship, and knew the next round was super critical for the team”.

Judd managed to defeat Belleri in the other semi 5.922 to 6.035, so it was vital for Zap to win his eliminator. The two elder statesmen of Top Doorslammer racing in this country faced off against each other, and Victor gave it all with a better reaction time, but Zappia’s 5.889 @ 245.90mph was too quick for the Chevy’s 6.101 @ 229.59mph.

“We knew the final would be close against Judd. He has a lot of power, but was having a few dramas getting the car down the track consistently. Nevertheless I had to dig deep for a good tune up with Richard Zappia who manages our data, and Gerry Andrijich our clutch guru. We knew we had the right tune up to win”.

The final of Top Doorslammer will go down in history as one of the great races of all time, with the local Perth crowd on their toes in expectation. Zap’s quicker 0.178 reaction time to Judd’s 0.201 gave him the head start, and he drove a side by side 5.866 @ 245.90mph win over Judd’s 5.878 @ 249.30mph to grab the win and the Westernationals Gold Christmas Tree trophy.

“What an amazing weekend’s racing. Big thanks again to a great crew who got Craig Pedley’s  “Crusher” HQ Monaro to the line on time, and through for the wins. It’s great for Fuchs Lubricants, Procomp Electronics, and Striker Crushing and Screening who provide the main sponsorship that allow us to race full time on the Pro Series, and Slamfest circuits around Australia, and K-Trans for assisting in getting the transporter to events”.

The win has seen John Zappia wrestle back the Top Doorslammer Championship lead with 370 points, over Kapiris on 348.5 points, and Judd on 334.5 points.

“One of the team goals is to win another back-to-back championship, and this event has been a turning point in achieving that goal. We have been doing it tough this season – as we push the boundaries on engine development. We want more horsepower to be able to run the 5.7’s we think will be required to win more championships in the coming seasons. Our chassis can handle the power, so we will continue our engine development program to push the boundaries – like we as a team always have. Unfortunately there will be breakages when the weak link is discovered, but the development process rectifies these issues in time”.

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