Zappia set to live out USA dream

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Australian Top Doorslammer champion John Zappia will be leasing a Noonan Race Engineering Pro Mod to race in the USA in under two months.

The team will be fully serviced and maintained from the Noonan stable, with Noonan principal and engine builder Jamie Noonan stating it was an exciting time for the company.

“I have known John for a long time and he has always had a little dream to race in the USA,” Jamie said. “He has dominated in Australia for the last ten years. I think he wants to go to the next level and have a crack.”

Zappia recently visited South Carolina to get fitted up for the Jerry Bickel-built Pro Extreme 69 Camaro and he said it was a dream come true.

“I’ve always wanted to race in America, everybody does. We will see where it goes and what doors open from there. The ultimate goal is to do six months there and six months in Australia, back and forward to suit the meetings and the climate.

“I’ve bought a drive in the car with the option to buy the car by the end of the year. It is a 2300 pound car with a 170 pound driver, that is 400 pounds lighter than my Australian car. It has a C-rotor PSI blower on it and they can run 127% overdrive instead of 108% on a D-rotor that we can run.

“It is the fourth or fifth fastest car in the world on the eighth mile, it has been 3.51 with a 4.8 style engine, Noonan heads and manifold.”

Noonan would like to put a 4.9 bore space engine into the car and get Zappia making laps as soon as possible.

“It came about at the right time. John said he wouldn’t mind going racing and I said I wouldn’t mind putting an engine in it. He spent two weeks at the shop (in Spartanburg), we made some changes to the car for him and hopefully when we get back there we will be testing straight away.”

Zappia should be testing by early August and then making his first competitive runs in Tulsa for the PDRA on August 11.

“We will start off running the (69 Camaro) the way it was and then I will start trying some stuff like I run on my Australian car to see if it works on the lighter car,” he said.  

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