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Brodie Zappia's Westernationals Result Rewards After Engine Rebuild

Despite not securing a victory in Brodie Zappia's last race at the 53rd Annual Westernationals, the all-night effort and making it to the semi-finals are significant achievements to celebrate for the talented Supercharged Outlaws racer.

Brodie Zappia Westernationals
Brodie Zappia Westernationals

The journey leading up to the event was filled with positivity, highlighted by the thrill of achieving a personal best time of 6.851 during testing. This stellar performance infused Brodie with confidence as he geared up for Western Australia's premier drag racing event.


“We received a new Crow Cam with a custom grind to try and optimise the power to where we need it,” he said. “Between events we ground out my heads and made my new pushrods from Race MAX Direct fit so I could get the motor higher into the RPM range. We also put stiffer valve springs in and fitted a bigger bottom blower pulley. Combined with my new hybrid mechanical fuel injection system, everything came together.”


The JK Construction Camaro also received a different tyre compound, and a change in the diff gears.


All the changes continued to pay off as Brodie entered qualifying for the Westernationals, clicking off a 6.854 despite less conducive weather conditions.


“We were still really rich in terms of fuel and timing, so we were able to pull some fuel out and still be safe in qualifying,” he said. “We repeated our testing pass and that made us very happy. Unfortunately in the second qualifier we came unstuck as the car surged at the top of first gear. At first I thought the intake pipe had blown off, but when I got out of the car I saw it was still attached... Back to the pits, we found pushrods sitting in the valley and rockers free-floating on their shafts.”

Broken Roller Lifters
Broken Roller Lifters

Brodie has truly mastered the art of disassembling a motor this season, showcasing his expertise and dedication. Once more, it was an opportunity for everyone to come together and get their hands dirty, delving into the big block Chev to diagnose and resolve any issues.


“Eventually we narrowed it down to lifter failure. I needed to make some runs back and forth to the workshop to find replacement parts and we decided that we would need to pull the heads and completely remove the rods and pistons to clean the bores.”


Amidst the full-scale rebuild, Brodie squeezed in a mere hour of sleep beneath the car after diligently tightening rod bolts. Supported by his dedicated crew members Lachlan, Adam, Darren, and Stu, along with invaluable assistance from the ZR1 team and Aaron Deery, they collectively achieved yet another remarkable mechanical feat.

Brodie Zappia
Brodie Zappia

Making the first round was still touch and go as the team buttoned up the car and Brodie drove it to the lanes.


“We had Cliff Brockwell in the first round and we were the first pair. I rushed to get there, as Cliff was waiting to fire. The officials told us to slow down as they would wait for me to get properly suited up and ready. We went out there not knowing if the car would hold together but I went 0.027 on the tree and ran 7.16, getting off the throttle at 1000ft so as not to break out and we got the win. Everyone was very emotional after that run, seeing as we had almost a whole day involved in getting it rebuilt and ready to go. Thank you to Cliff and crew for waiting patiently for me to be ready”.


The second round saw Brodie take on long time Zappia Racing friend Vince Belladonna. Once again Brodie was sharp on the tree and a 0.032 light plus a 7.04 (off the throttle early) on a 6.96 dial-in produced victory.


That left the semi final against Norbert Claite where an intermittent electrical issue cost Brodie the race.


“As I came up on RPM in the burnout the car shut off. All my lights were still on, so I knew it was not battery related. The car started up again and I went to do a second burnout and the same thing happened. My crew looked over everything as Norb backed up and eventually we just had to put it into the staging beams. I went .030 on the tree but about 20 feet out it died and stopped. I was able to re-fire and reverse the car out, and drive back to the pits. We found the positive coil wire from my MSD8 ignition box was a quarter turn loose on the screw, so it had vibrated loose. I was devastated, but relieved the car was still running and in one piece.”


Although the Westernationals trophy didn't find its way into Brodie's hands, he continued to shine brightly, leaving an indelible mark on sponsors and team supporters who witnessed his unwavering dedication and remarkable performance.


“We spent the weekend in the Dananni Hotshots tent and it was great to be able to celebrate the wins of my uncle John Zappia in Top Doorslammer and Benny Stevens in Top Fuel Motorcycle.  This season has taken a toll on me physically and financially, especially over the Christmas holidays. I don’t think I saw my parents for a couple of weeks even though I live with them! My number one priority is getting the car onto the track to meet the expectations of my valued sponsors and everybody who gets behind the team.”


Brodie extends his heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has supported him throughout his debut season in a blown car, with special appreciation to all the sponsors whose generous support has made it all possible.



JK Construction



Dananni Haulage

Pedders Suspension and Brakes Booragoon

Jacked Supplements

JP Pallets



High Speed Engineering

Tony’s Auto Wreckers

Allfast Torque Converters

Crow Cams

Impact Heavy Equipment Maintenance

CP Carrillo Rods and Pistons

Klik Creative

Kounis Group

Race MAX Direct

Advanced Product Design (APD)

ADR Engines

FUCHS Lubricants

NGK Spark Plugs

Mr T Racing

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



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