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Brodie Zappia Can See Light at the End of the Tunnel After all His Hard Work

The learning process is not yet over for Brodie Zappia, but he’s certainly a lot closer to graduating from the drag racing equivalent of the School of Hard Knocks after finding a vital component malfunctioning during Saturday’s Nitro Max event at Perth Motorplex.

A season full of engine dramas has kept Brodie working tirelessly, but mercifully relief looks to be on the horizon. The JK Construction Camaro began qualifying with similar troubles to how it ended the Westernationals, but through a process of elimination and observations during runs, Brodie believes he has the bug identified.

John Zappia Captures Brodie Zappia At The Nitro's
John Zappia Captures Brodie Zappia At The Nitro's

“The first run’s burnout on the weekend was just like the Westernationals, cutting out after the burnout,” he said. “Once again we dived into the ignition system and we discovered two loose plug ends on the bulkhead between the coil and the distributor. As I was tightening the one on the coil itself it snapped right off and I could see corrosion around there. Massive thankyou to Curtis Spadaro who went home to pull a brand new coil off his race car so I could use it for the rest of the meeting.”

The team returned for the compulsory qualifying session only to find problems still present. This time Brodie coasted down the track at quarter-throttle, during which he noticed his RPM gauge moving around rapidly, but also showed the ignition box and MSD Grid lights still operational. A look at the data showed the air-fuel ratio readings all over the place.

“I gave George at Race MAX Direct a call, he took time to help out even though he was racing in Sydney at the same time. He said to pull the fuel pump apart and make sure everything was working right inside the pump. We went to take the pump off the car and saw there was no keyway on the driven cog for the pump.”

Needing to make a quick repair, Brodie ground up a piece of steel to fit as a keyway, and resorted to zip ties and electrical tape to keep the cog from falling off the shaft and went out for the race round against Kasey McClure.

The burnout was strong and finally, Brodie was able to go into stage with a chance. After a 0.006 light to Kaseys 0.028, the JK Construction Camaro shook violently, then blew the tyres off at 60ft — but that helped the team learn even more.

“That was my first time ever overpowering the track and we think that the brand new coil helped the engine make a lot more power. It wasn’t just a little change, it was a lot. I needed to put a timing curve into the MSD Grid for the first time, which Uncle John was able to help with. As we were getting ready to head out for the B-Final against Vince Belladonna, we noticed some material in the oil filter, and given our experiences from what happened last time, we decided to be cautious. I simply staged for the B Final and turned the car off.”

While there were no full runs, Brodie is now confident that after a quick check over all the bearings the team will be able to come out confidently for the last race of the season.

“It’s a tricky problem to find because it would only occur under load. We think the belt tension on the fuel pump would keep the cog and shaft spinning together at idle due to friction, but once it came up on boost, it would drain the bowls and the cog would spin on the shaft, before leaning out and dropping rpm. We have newfound confidence with this new coil that we should be able to do well at the final event of the year.”

Not one to rest on his laurels, Brodie intends on finding the performance he knows the engine is capable of.
“We’re going to put on a bigger bottom pulley to get the blower spinning to its max rpm and we will have our good cam back from being repaired at Crow Cams after it was damaged at the Westernationals. The championship is run and done, with Kasey McClure's consistent Rear Engine Dragster wrapping up the WA Supercharged Outlaws championship a round early. Our goal at the last meeting is to get the car to a new personal best. If it happens, all good, if not — we have next season to go fast.”

Brodie’s t-shirts will be available for the final meeting of the Perth Motorplex season on April 13th. Come down and see Brodie and get a t-shirt and have him sign it, or just to say hello. You can also purchase his t-shirts online at the Zappia Racing Shop

Facebook: @zappiaracing 

Naming Rights Sponsor:

JK Construction

Major Sponsors:

Dannani Haulage (Hotshots)

Supporting Sponsors:

Mr T Racing 

B.L. & S.G. Lake Brick Cartage

Social Media & Marketing by ROBMEDIA 


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