The Home Group WA Nitro Slam was the biggest show so far this season at the Perth Motorplex drag strip as a capacity crowd rolled in on Saturday night to witness an impressive evening of racing courtesy of the best racers from WA and around the country.
After all the headlines of Friday night, John Zappia was able to regather and claim the win in Top Doorslammer, knocking out Maurice Fabietti in the final.
Zappia and his crew had to spend much of the Friday night and Saturday repairing damage to the Fuchs Holden Monaro after it argued with the Perth Motorplex safety barriers in the final qualifying session.
The repairs held and Zappia was able to survive scrapes with Pino Priolo and Marty Dack in the early rounds before a tight tussle with Fabietti in the final.
Fabietti had one hand on the trophy before a cruel twist when the burst panel blew, allowing Zappia to sneak by in the last 50 metres of the race track.
“It was pretty even early, as soon as mine rattled (shook the tyres) Maurice pulled a car length ahead,” Zappia recalled. “I started to run him in but I don’t know if I would have had enough track if he didn’t pop the burst panel. I’d say he probably would have had me.”
Zappia said the team are struggling with a car that is on the edge.
“For the final we put a lazier gearbox in it to try and get through the tyre shake area and it shook worse,” he said. “It wants to be on kill, every time I try to back it down it shakes.
“We haven’t got the answer, we don’t have the consistency we are looking for at that power level.”
Talking about cruel twists, such was the case in Top Fuel Motorcycle as well. Mark Drew had a massive performance margin on the field, demonstrated with his 6.39 in the semi final (low ET of the event), but then crossed the centre line in the final round, handing what would have been a certain victory to Chris Matheson.
Matheson made the switch to his ‘Jackhammer’ Nitro Harley from his famous ‘Nitro Voodoo’ multi cylinder and so far it doesn’t seem to have done him any harm.
“We were lucky Mark crossed the line but you have to be there to be lucky,” Matheson said. “For the final we turned it up a little bit and it took off. It got a bit out of shape down the other end but we got through.”
Matheson’s road to the final took him past two WA riders making their pro race day debut. He eliminated Wayne McGuinness in round one in a race decided by less than one tenth of a second, followed by a defeat of Ben Stevens.
“Perth has been very welcoming to us and it is great to see a big field,” Matheson said. “In particular young blokes coming out and having a go on these big bikes gives me a bit of ticker for the future of the sport.”
So what else went down on night two of Home Group WA Nitro Slam – oh, you know. Just 8000 horsepower Nitro Funny Cars, more five second doorslammers, Top Alcohol PBs everywhere and some of the closest sportsman racing we have seen all season.
Anthony Begley got over some night one dramas to record a strong 5.17. The Chemical Warfare team were very happy with the pass.
Stuart Bishop carded a 5.94 during exhibition runs for Top Doorslammers – we are sure he was wishing that could come during qualifying where he missed the field!
Craig Glassby’s 5.46 has really put the cat amongst the pigeons for the upcoming ANDRA Top Alcohol round at the Westernationals on January 30-31.
And how about Shane Weston’s 5.54? One of the quickest Top Alcohol Dragster passes in the country right there folks.
Jamie Chaisty won yet again in Super Comp – sub record horsepower and consistency are a dangerous combination.
Daniel Natalotto broke through for a Competition Bike win on his very quick BMW. One of the great personalities at the Motorplex.
Ben Hoar scored his first Supercharged Outlaws win by taking out Gregory James’ tough Lamborghini in the final.
Alesha Adamos racked up her second win of the season by defeating the very tough Sam Treasure in the final round of Modified, closing down his championship lead to just five points.
It was great to see two big wheelstanding cars in the final of Super Sedan. Matt Gullotto finally got the winner’s trophy in his hands when Leigh Fallon red lit.
Fallon’s wheelstands made him one of the most popular racers of the night!
Darrin McDonald was a very happy man with his win in Modified Bike, defeating Justin Townson’s break out pass.
Ian Taylor scored big in Super Street, overcoming Nicholas Wroe who had to settle for his second runner up in a row.
McClure and Zappia are names you expect to see in a Top Comp final, but here they were in Junior Dragster. Bailey McClure took the win from Brodie Zappia, who unfortunately red lit.
We hope to see everyone back at the drag strip for the Westernationals on January 30-31!