Beach Trip: John Zappia Hits The Sand After A 258 MPH Pass

Every drag racer on planet Earth wants to go as fast as they can, but imagine going over 258 MPH and not being able to stop. Australian Top Doorslammer legend John Zappia was faced with that exact situation when both of his parachutes failed after a pass at Perth Motorplex during the WA Summer Slam Series event this past weekend.

Zappia cemented his status as the best ANDRA Top Doorslammer racer ever by winning the series ten times in a row and claiming two IHRA 400 Thunder titles during his storied career. Zappia has also set multiple records behind the wheel of a supercharged Pro Mod in Australia and the United States, so he knows what it takes to go fast on a set of big tires.

When you have as much experience wrestling 3,500 horsepower doorslammers down the track as Zappia does you also have the ability to tell when things are going wrong instantly. Zappia shows how finely tuned his driving skills are during his ill-fated pass at both ends of the track. We first see Zappia expertly pedal his Holden Monaro out of tire shake and save the run through the in-car footage provided by Dragzvideos.

With the car back under control, Zappia was able to finish the run with a respectable 5.702 elapsed time at 258.78 MPH, but that’s when things took a turn for the worse. In the additional video from Dragzvideos, we see both of Zappia’s parachutes rip off the car as soon as he deploys them at the top end. At this point, Zappia had to think fast to try and keep the car straight as it headed for the sand trap, but also scrub off as much speed as he could to make the impact less violent. Thankfully, when Zappia hit the sand the car didn’t roll over and it came to a stop safely preventing serious damage.

About the author

Brian Wagner

Spending his childhood at different race tracks around Ohio with his family’s 1967 Nova, Brian developed a true love for drag racing. When Brian is not writing, you can find him at the track as a crew chief, doing freelance photography, or beating on his nitrous-fed 2000 Trans Am.
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