Just last week John Zappia set a new Perth Motorplex track record speed for Top Doorslammer clocking 256.38 mph.
While Peter Kapiris holds the National Record at 258.42 mph, Zappia is closing in on that mark as he continuously pushes the boundaries of what his Fuchs Monaro can do.
“We’ve been working on some stuff for a while,” he said. “It hasn’t quite worked and we’ve blown up some engines so we always go back to what we know and run consistently.
“We’ve just put a new Aeromotive fuel pump on (the car) and tailored that more to the size that we need for the overdrive that we run whereas the Waterman pump I had on there was a bit bigger. So we put a smaller fuel pump on that is a more efficient fuel pump.
“This is only the second meeting we’ve run that fuel pump and we’re just starting to get a handle on the fuel system. That helped and the weather was good and everything came together.
“The track came to us and we’re just starting to play with this fuel system and follow the curve of the supercharger and follow the curve of what the engine wants. And we’re still learning what the engine wants even though we do 70 runs a year. You never stop learning.”
Next weekend, 3-4 December at Adelaide International Raceway, Zappia brings his bullet to the SA Summer Nationals looking to extend his lead in the chase for an unprecedented 10th ANDRA Top Doorslammer Championship in a row.
Zap has set the standard year in, year out in a decade of dominance and has a history of running 4.8-4.9 second passes over the 1000 feet AIR racing distance.
With that data in hand, he feels relaxed heading into the event having brushed off the starting problems last time in the Grand Final at AIR back in April.
“We know what clutch settings and what gearing to put in (the car) and I don’t do anything different at a 1000 foot than I do for a quarter mile, I just shut off earlier that’s all.
“The ignition (last April), the magneto had bad magneto that had an intermittent fault. The previous run, the car cut out as I hit second gear, backed off, then I punched top gear and off it went.
“(The car) carried on and we got the win on the race but on the next run we started in the pits and come to the start line, it wouldn’t start. We thought it was a wire on the outside of the car, we went back to the pits, plugged the mag back into the car and it started.”
Zappia and the team isolated the problem and are behind it is behind them with a semi final appearance in Darwin and a win at the Desert Nationals in Alice Springs.
While it may be a little early to talk about 10 Championships, he is all business approaching the SA Summer Nationals to increase his 30-point lead.
“We’re focussed on it (the Championship) and we’ll take it one event at a time. We’re not coming (to Adelaide) to experiment with stuff, we’re coming to run what we know works and is reliable but little things can go wrong – things you overlook or you may run a part too long and finally it decides to fail.
“You could be late on the tree, you can red light, a lot of things can happen so we’ve just got to stay focussed and know that car is strong.
“Last time we were there we ran 4.83 in the left lane and 4.84 in the right lane so we know we’ve got a good baseline to start with and everyone else struggled to even get into the 4s so we know we’ve got an advantage there.”
The SA Summer Nationals hits Adelaide International Raceway December 3-4 featuring the ANDRA Drag Racing Series and Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series.
Gates open from 9am. Qualifying begins from 10am on Saturday and racing from 11am on Sunday. Adults tickets $35 / Concession $20 / Kinds under 15 FREE / Weekend Passes $50.
The Garmin VIRB ANDRA Drag Racing Live Stream will be available on Sunday December 4 and is free for ANDRA members. Non-ANDRA members $7.99. Visit Motorsports TV to sign up.
Visit www.adelaidedragracepromotions.com.au for more information.
Image credit: Grant Stephens / Drag News Australia