The Summer Slam Series is set to be more hotly contested than ever before this season at Perth Motorplex, as Western Australian drag racing teams concentrate on their home track while national championships stay on pause.
Among the Top Doorslammer drivers contesting this Saturday’s opening round will be two racers who enjoyed seemingly opposite luck throughout last season: the reigning champion John Zappia and seventh place points finisher Stu Moresby.
Both drivers contested all of the events in the series, but where Zappia was running incredible numbers and reaching finals, Moresby could not seem to take a trick. At the same event where Zappia reset the track record, Moresby had a bruising encounter in the braking area when his parachute did not deploy properly.
“The longer than expected off-season was a good opportunity for us to go over the whole car,” Zappia said. “We aren’t looking to change our tune-up much at all, so hopefully we can roll off the trailer and be straight back into the 5sec. zone and then look for regular 5.6sec. times.”
Zappia would ordinarily be contesting rounds of the 400 Thunder Pro Slammer Championship at this time of year, but the series is on hold due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, allowing Zappia to concentrate on his home track.
“We are proud to have our co-naming rights sponsors Dananni Hotshots and Tony’s Auto Wreckers back on board. Tony’s Auto Wreckers was meant to be with us just for one event last season, but with our new focus being on the local Summer Slam Series they want to be a part of the journey all season long.”
Moresby’s shares a major sponsor with Zappia, but that’s about it in terms of similarities. His Dananni Hotshots Studebaker had moments of brilliance last season, including a personal best run of 5.90sec., but was tempered by the aforementioned crash and plain bad luck. Moresby said the team has been at work to find some more pace.
“We have a new blower (supercharger) and injector hat as our last blower was down on boost, so hopefully we can pick up some speed,” Moresby said. “We were starting to find some consistency with the car so hopefully we can start leaning on it a bit more.
“I think the fans should expect some wild rides and fast side-by-side runs this season with a full field of high horsepower cars.”
Also set to compete this weekend are Stuart’s brother Ryan Moresby in his underdog Ford Falcon, championship challenger Daniel Gregorini, Kelvin Lyle in his potent Ford Mustang and Mark Chapman’s gold-standard Plymouth Fury.
The Summer Slam Season Opener takes place this Saturday with sportsman qualifying from 11am, and the feature program beginning from 5.30pm.