Reigning Top Doorslammer champion John Zappia has gained valuable championship points with his team’s performance at the Westernationals with a B Final win and top ET and MPH in the first of the two championship rounds staged at the event.
“We were thousandths off doing really well,” said Zappia. “But overall we are happy with the progress on our new package with new NRE X1 heads. Our 5.797 pass was our first “seven” in Perth, and reset the track record.”
Round one qualifying was dramatic for Zappia and the Fuchs Lubricants/Striker Crushing and Screening Monaro, as he rattled the tyres on launch causing the car to head right towards the wall.
“I pedalled and hit second gear and the car powered back up against the wall – scraping the headers and door pretty bad. The crew managed to put a door from Zap’s Rat on Craig Pedley’s Crusher and head out for the first eliminator against Sutton.”
A pedalling 5.957 @ 249.3mph was enough for Zap to defeat Andrew Sutton’s 6.423 @ 231.95mph, but missed out on an A Final by 0.005 seconds. The match up against O’Rourke in his Pontiac in the B Final was a chance for revenge as Grant has had a couple of wins over Zap lately.
“We were just about right with our tuning on the new combo, and I was confident the car would hook up, and it certainly did. A 5.797 @ 250.69mph dead straight and hitting all my shift points was a great win over Grant’s 7.533,” he said.
Kapiris was winner of the first round of the weekend with a win over Mark Belleri.
The second round on Sunday saw a great qualifier by Zap to gain number one position with a 5.863 at 251.39mph. This also gave the team top points for ET and MPH for the second night running.
“I probably short shifted a little on that run, but the mph gained us top speed points for the meeting. That put us up against our rival Peter Kapiris in the Saratoga in the elimination round – our first pairing since last year’s championship tussle. I was looking forward to the race, but he got me on a brilliant hole shot,” Zappia said.
Kapiris won the race with a slower 6.139 @ 241.28mph to Zap’s 6.036 @ 247.93mph thanks to a super sharp 0.084 light to 0.196.
“We both had to pedal on that run and I lost by 0.009 seconds for a finals berth. Congratulations to Daniel Gregorini who took the round win – his first in Top Doorslammer.”
Points standing after the Westernationals sees Stuart Bishop leading with 165 points, followed by Pino Priolo on 157 and Zappia on 138.
“We are happy with the points and our standing in the championship at this stage of the championship. We have got a better start than in previous years and hope to gradually work our way up the points table. The owner of the Crusher and managing director of Striker Screening and Crushing Craig Pedley was at the meeting and was very happy with how we are going. His staff and clients in the corporate box got to see his car running quick times and getting the B Final win”.
Zappia Racing head to Calder Park in Victoria for Round 4 on April 4 – 5, then on to Sydney for Round 5 at the Nitro Champs in May.