West Aussie Drag Racing icon John Zappia struck a decisive blow in taking out the opening round of the Direct Mining and Industrial Summer Slam Series opener at Perth Motorplex last night in front of a healthy crowd.
It wasn’t smooth sailing however, with the Dannani Haulage entry making wholesale changes after the Compulsory Qualifier, with changes in gearing and transmission before the Elimination Round.
It yielded immediate results, with Zappia securing a strong 5.70 run at 413kmh.
Zappia netted the round win over an ailing Stuart Moresby, despite a softer launch and a slower 5.77 in the final – in a situation where the team expected to perform even better.
“These cars are a balancing act, the engines punch out so much power these days. We will review and come back for another crack in a few weeks time,” explained Richard Zappia on the night.
Like many things in the high-octane world of Drag Racing – things can look good early before coming unstuck quickly – and that was certainly the case for Daniel Gregorini.
The afternoon non-compulsory qualifying session provided dramas for most Doorslammer cars and for Gregorini in his immaculate Scratch N Match Camaro – it turned particularly eventful.
The car veered hard right and collected the wall hard – at almost 300 kilometres per hour.
“The car launched hard and we looked good for a 5.70 run early into it,” said Gregorini after the incident. “It got messy and then we had a stuck throttle at 90% application which created the drama.”
“I am a bit sore from the twisting impact to my lower back but I am ok.”
“The car has extensive damage and unfortunately it could be a while before we can get back on track.”
An always healthy support-cast of the fast was on hand for the series opener, with Ross Smith pounding his performance index a notable highlight in Competition Bike.
Summer Slam – John Zappia
Nitro Bike – Greg Durack
Top Comp – Wayne Keys
Super Comp – Jake Chaisty
Conp Bike – Ross Smith
Outlaws – Darryl Mullins
Top Sportsman – Alby Bakranich
Outlaw Radial – George Kelly
Modified – Nick Panagopoulos
Super Sedan – Martin Mirco
Modified Bike – Ian Read
Super Street – Joel Trotman
Junior Dragster – Brodie Zappia
Full Results: http://www.motorplex.com.au/drag-results/
The Direct Mining Industrial Summer Slam Series returns to the Perth Motorplex Quarter Mile – Saturday, November 28.
Words: Dean Neal
Photo: Phil Luyer – High Octane Photos.