John Zappia fails to qualify in Nationals day of drama

Steve Read on his way to the pinnacle of the Top Fuel field in Sydney

Steve Read on his way to the pinnacle of the Top Fuel field in Sydney

In one of the most dramatic ANDRA Drag Racing Series qualifying days in some time, defending Top Doorslammer Champion has been booted from the eight car field after missing the the bump spot by the barest of margins.

Zappia missed the field by just 0.13 of a second and the West Aussie will watch the eliminations from the sidelines with local hope Maurice Fabietti, Victor Bray and Grant O’Rourke.

Bray was involved in another of the major talking points of the day when Peter Kapiris’ clutch exploded during one of his qualification runs. Blinded by the smoke in the cabin, his car drifted into Bray’s lane and the pair collided. Kapiris was later rushed to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation but will line up in the eliminations today.

In Top Fuel, Steve Read upstaged the opposition taking the number one spot. The Pom – who hasn’t been at a Nationals since his back-to-back wins in 2008 and 2009 ¬†believes he has the package to take him to a ‘third straight’ Nationals crown. He snatched the pole in the final moments eclipsing Phil Lamattina and Alan Dobson who were at the top of the time sheets. The trio were the only drivers in the four second bracket.

Defending Champion and points leader, Darren Morgan had a difficult day qualifying fourth and dealing with engine problems, whilst Martin Stamatis was sixth in his racing return.

Jason Grima set the pace in Pro Stock, Gary Phillips is the man to beat in Top Alcohol after a stunning 5.497 run, Chris Matheson is the man in Top Bike and Winternationals winner, Luke Crowley, set the pace in Pro Stock Motorcycle.


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