AUSSIE racer John Zappia has dropped jaws once again by running an astonishing firstname.lastname@example.org over the quarter in Virginia, USA, making his newly bought Chevy Camaro the quickest and fastest blown Doorslammer in the world. The icing on the cake is that the car is powered by an Aussie-built 518ci Noonan engine.
Zappia already has a string of records to his bow, so how does he manage to do it, time after time? Well, being a smart and cashed-up racer always helps. But the greatest addition to his performance arsenal has been the new Noonan engine platform, and this was its very first meeting in the Camaro.
The motor is basically a home-brand deal, like a Brad Anderson, Sainty or Alan Jackson engine, where everything from the oil pan through to the cylinder heads is a one-off. When you stack it against a run-of-the-mill blown Doorslammer Hemi, only the blower, hat and fuel pump are really interchangeable.
The guys at Noonan wanted to make more power, and with a 4.8-inch bore spacing on a conventional Hemi, they could not pump the motor out with bigger pistons. The answer was simple – build a new block with a 4.9-inch bore spacing to give them more meat between the cylinders. They made a heap of other changes too, including raising the cam in the block, bigger pistons and bigger valves for better head flow. There are also shortened pushrods and plenty of other stuff that is very clever and works really well.
So they have a killer motor, but it goes beyond that. Australian Doorslammers are pretty much on par with American Pro Mod cars; there are governing class rules like minimum weights and supercharger overdrive restrictions. Then you have ADRL and PRDA-type classes that are run-what-you-brung sort of deals and really are Outlaw classes. They allow various boosting styles (turbo, nitrous and blown) and a lighter 2350lb class weight (instead of 2750lb). In addition, they can run 128 per cent overdrive on a D-rotor supercharger rather than 108 per cent on the small PSI C-rotor. Basically, they are the baddest of the bad sedans. Understandably, the Queensland-based Noonan team is over the moon.
“We went into this with only two runs on the motor and this was the first meeting in the car,” Jamie Noonan says. “It’s also the only door car in the class running a clutch and a three-speed versus a two-speed auto and converter for the rest of the field.
“We really had no fuel data for the back half of the track, and as we wanted the quartermile record we have our car set up totally
different to all the eighth-mile cars over here.”
The reality is, you will not see a 2750lb Aussie Doorslammer run 265mph with the current overdrive restrictions, but for John to run that in the US is just bad-arse. And he’s not stopping there. Having subsequently purchased the Camaro roller from Jamie and Renee Noonan, he will leave the car in the States until next year’s campaign. Now officially the secondquickest doored car in the world, Zap’s aim is to take the top spot from Jose Gonzalez, whose turbocharged Pro Extreme Corvette ran a 5.403@259mph earlier this year.
“We will be back to try and go one better, providing we can pick up sponsors for the 2018 USA tour,” Zappia says. “We are in discussions with several parties, but we are open to talking to new sponsors who would like to come on board and help us take the number one door car record.” eighth here”