Zappia to Semi Final at Westernationals

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Eliminations for the 42nd Westernationals started last Sunday with a magnificent day and by 6pm the temperature had dipped to 25 degrees C (77.f F) with 66% humidity and 1900ft corrected air.


John Zappia had qualified second the day before with a 5.963 @ 245.90 mph, behind Maurice Fabietti on 5.921 @ 240.64mph.

Round 1 saw reigning Top Doorslammer Champion John Zappia take on Benny Bray and hole shot him 0.087 to 0.108 and led to 60 feet when he had to pedal. Bray took the lead, but by 1,000 feet Zap had pulled level, and went straight through for the win.

Gregorini 6.047 took out Sutton 6.043 in a tight race. Victor 6.036 took out Pavey 6.063, and Kapiris 6.030 won when Fabietti (6.364) dragged the beams.

The Semi Final of Victor Bray and John Zappia – the two pioneers of Doorslammer racing in Australia, ended up a steady win to Victor whose dead straight 6.012 @ 237.46mph took out Zap after he went sideways at mid track and ran through for a 6.197 @ 238.09mph.

“I was out in front – we went 0.994 to sixty feet – but like most of our runs this weekend the dreaded tyre shake at the top of first gear got us again. I tried to drive through it but the Fuchs / Striker Crushing Monaro ended up pretty sideways. I pedaled, corrected and tried to catch Victor to no avail as he was through for the win”.

Gregorini red lit in the other semi and ran a 6.079 @ 236.22mph to a winning 5.961 @ 237.46mph by Kapiris, setting up a great final between the top two championship leaders – Victor with his second final in a row.

The final round match-up was held up by a track incident, and Peter Kapiris in the Saratoga managed the quickest run for the event 5.868 @ 240.00mph to defeat Victor Bray in the ’57 Chevy who got out early in the run after experiencing tyre shake.

“Congratulations to Peter for the win. That last run was out of the ordinary for the event at five eight, and even crew chief Brew really had no idea why it went so much better than all their other runs on the day. I think the track had dew on it, and allowed a lot more wheel speed and the car got up and over the tyre”.

“We are still third in the Top Doorslammer Championship, and look forward to the next round at the Nitro Champs in Sydney on 4th and 5th May. We will run two local events here at the Perth Motorplex to see out the WA season, before heading off to Sydney”.

“Many thanks to Fuchs and Striker Crushing for their support in our championship bid. We are on one of the hardest missions of all – to defend our 5 Back-to-Back Championships. We have been at the top of the game for five years and now into our sixth, and that takes enormous effort from us and our team. We enjoy support from a lot of local Perth supporting sponsors, and we thank them deeply. We will really have to dig deep if we are to keep our hopes of a 6th straight championship alive but as they say in racing, “anything can happen on the track” and we just need a bit of luck to go our way. There are still 4 championship rounds to go and hopefully we get to compete at all and give us the best chance of catching Peter and Victor.

“I am just as determined to bounce back and get this Fuchs / Striker Crushing Monaro back into the five eights, and five sevens. As a team we are focused and excited – drag racing has such a great future in Australia”.


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