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Zappia Reaches Alice Springs Final - To Be Decided In Perth

Drag racers must be adaptable in order to succeed, and John Zappia certainly had to stay on his toes as weather conditions and schedule changes at the Red Centre NATS at Alice Springs Inland Dragway put his team to the test.

The Dananni Hotshots/Fuchs Lubricants Monaro Top Doorslammer was originally meant to hit the track on Thursday for qualifying, but rain saw qualifying pushed to Friday. Once the sun was out, Zappia didn’t take long to make an impression with a 5.96 run to top qualify in the single-session shootout, earning the Crow Cams Top Qualifier Award.

“We didn’t want to overdo it given we had just one shot at qualifying, so we backed the power down for a tune that would go straight down the track,” he said.

The first round would be up against Matt Abel, who reached the final at the opening round of the Australian Top Doorslammer Championship in Darwin. With a little bit more spice in the tune, Zappia scored the win light with a 5.87.

“The Dananni Hotshots/Fuchs Lubricants Monaro was moving around in the top end and I pulled the parachutes early,” he said. “But then my muscle memory went to push the clutch pedal in — I don’t have a clutch pedal anymore! That’s where the brake is now, so then I had the wheels locked up and it was a bit wild. I won’t do that again.”

For the second round, Zappia was on a bye run. With the cold night air closing in, the track surface would not be able to hold much power. The result was a sliding 7.30 run that gave up lane choice to Kelvin Lyle for the final.

But then the news came that the conditions were no longer safe for racing, and the final would instead be contested later in the year at the Perth Motorplex championship round.

“Obviously we wish we could have run the final, but it’s just not safe to put 3000hp race cars down a cold track,” Zappia said. “While the event had its challenges, we still had a great time meeting all the Alice Springs fans and we hope they enjoyed the show we could put on.”

Those same fans got to see a new look on the Monaro, which now has joint naming rights from Dananni Hotshots and Fuchs Lubricants. Tony’s Auto Wreckers have also joined the team once again as a major sponsor.

“We’re proud to represent Dananni Hotshots, Fuchs Lubricants and Tony’s Auto Wreckers once again,” Zappia said. “We’ve also been joined by WA Bolts and Callies Crankshafts for the first time, and we are happy to welcome them to the team. It’s also great to have Crow Cams and WA Suspensions back on board and all of our supporting sponsors — they make this all possible.”

The next event for Zappia Racing will be the opening round of the Summer Slam at Perth Motorplex’s Powerpalooza on October 29. This big night features drag racing, speedway and burnouts all in one huge event.

“Powerpalooza is such a unique event and we get to meet new fans from across each motorsport, so we will be looking to start the season strongly there,” Zappia said.

Photos: Drag News


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