Zappia unleashes quickest ever Top Doorslammer pass in ANDRA season opener

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John Zappia laid down one of the most impressive runs in the history of Top Doorslammer on Friday night at Perth Motorplex with a 5.683 second recording, the quickest ever for the category.

The amazing pass came during qualifying night for the ANDRA Drag Racing Series opener at the Home Group WA Nitro Slam and eclipsed the previous best time for the division of 5.745, which was also set by Zappia.

But celebration quickly turned to a hard night’s work when the Fuchs Holden Monaro gave the wall a love tap in the final qualifying session, causing some cosmetic damage to the car.

“We tried to back the car off a bit because we want to go rounds tomorrow,” Zappia said. “I punched second gear like I normally do and I went way right, it got real close to the wall then came away and was going straight and then the next minute it hooked right. I must have had the left tyre in traction and the right tyre in no traction.

“It’s pretty cosmetic, it’s the most minor damage we’ve done on the body. We’ve got a spare door, we’ve got a spare front and we will fix the headers.”

Zappia said while they have a performance margin on the field, the team are concerned about their consistency.

“When it was running 80s we knew it would run 80s every run, but now you are pushing the limits – it is closer to the edge and it can be more unpredictable,” he said.

“It’s got enough for most of the field, but there are a couple of teams in the low 80s so it is a lottery on what the track surface will bring.

“We want to start the season strong so if anything goes wrong we are in front to start with, but hey everyone would love to do that.”

The field was one of the quickest in ANDRA history with Pino Priolo anchoring the eight car race day group with a 5.979, ousting former champion Gary Phillips’ 5.980 by one thousandth of a second.

Last year’s championship runner up Stuart Bishop was a surprise non-qualifier, along with Peter Kapiris.


Meanwhile in a strong Top Fuel Motorcycle field, Western Australian Mark Drew came out on top with a 6.586, but was left disappointed he could not get the full potential out of his nitro-fuelled Harley.

“The clutch cannon didn’t release anywhere near early enough,” he confessed. “The consistency wasn’t there that I would have liked so we will go back to where we started with the tune up from the 6.58, but with the clutch coming in at the right time.”

Drew tried to improve in the final session but like Zappia had a wild end to the night as he fought to keep the bike straight.

“It felt like the handlebars were scraping along the ground, it took off again and I was battling to keep it off the wall – it was just a messy run,” he said.

Uniquely the Top Fuel Motorcycle field features three first time pro riders who made the top eight – Ben Stevens, Wayne McGuinness and Les Holden.

Eliminations play out Saturday at Perth Motorplex from 6pm WST.


Be sure to check out more coverage of this event in the next issue of Drag News Magazine.




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