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Zappia ends Perth season with strong passes, boosting Sydney hopes

The end of the Western Australian drag racing season for John Zappia didn’t quite turn out how the veteran Top Doorslammer driver wanted, but there were positives to take away from the rainy finish.

In fact, the WA Drag Racing Grand Finals were shaping up with what might have been Zappia’s strongest start to an event this season, as he dropped a 5.66/253mph on his first pass of the day.

“We had our B-motor in the car, and it did everything right,” he said. “The first pass used up a little bit of the lane but I was able to drive it back into the groove without having to pedal it. It was in the middle of the afternoon but we had a 0.948 60 foot time which is the quickest I have ever been.

“We put a little bit more into the tune-up for the second run figuring the track would get tighter. We were right about that, but we could have done with even more power. It stuck the tyres and the 60 foot time slowed to a 0.972, so we had a 5.70 come up on the boards at the finish. The run was dead straight though and we were happy the Dananni Hotshots /Fuchs Lubricants Monaro was being such a consistent car.”

At that point, some light rain began to fall and it proved enough for the Perth Motorplex management to decide to call the event off. It was a disappointing end to the Summer Slam Series, which Zappia had a chance of taking out. Thanks to Kelvin Lyle and his company Direct Mining and Industrial for his sponsorship of the series.

“We were 30 points behind Daniel Gregorini, so that certainly put us within range,” he said. “While we both would have loved to race it out, you can’t do that on a wet track.”

The positive for the Zappia Racing team was that they now have a race car that is behaving and responding well to setup changes, giving John some much-needed confidence ahead of the Nitro Champs at Sydney Dragway on May 5th and 6th.

“We are putting our A-motor back in for Sydney, that is getting assembled right now after the quality machining by Applied Automotives. There will be new CP Carrillo rods and pistons, a new Callies crank and new Noonan heads. It’s as fresh as we can make a motor! It’s a nice feeling going to Sydney knowing that there will be two 5.6-second motors at our disposal, though of course we only hope to use one.”

Zappia will be aiming to put the pressure on Kelvin Lyle in the championship fight for the Australian Top Doorslammer Championship.

“We have 82 points to make up on Kelvin and just two championship rounds left to do it, Sydney and the finals in Darwin. It is Kelvin’s championship to lose right now, so we will push as hard as we can. Little points make a big difference so we will be trying to get performance bonus points while we can, while also keeping our engine in its safe and healthy zone.

“I think we’ve learned from some mistakes this season. Even after over 30 years of racing Blown Doorslammers, we still learn and this season it was about finding out where the limits were.”

We would like to take this opportunity to thanks all our Sponsors for supporting us throughout the WA season and we will continue to showcase their brand for the remaining two national events. Also a big thanks you to all the supporters who turn up to see us and for buying our merchandise.

Fans of Zappia Racing should make sure to check out the team’s new website and the online merch store, all available at

“We have a lot of new merch up and our new website has different areas for both myself and my nephew Brodie, who took runner-up in the Super Sedan state championship this year.

Hopefully, you’ll be seeing the Zappia name at the track well into the future!”


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