January 17, 2015 saw the return of the National Drag Racing Championship (NDRC). Held at the Clark International Speedway (CIS), the event went on a high note, as defending champion Jonathan Tiu has once again proved that he is a true force to reckon with by winning the first round of the Northern Series. With his prime goal of defending his title, Tiu also targets to beat his own quarter-mile record of 8.806 seconds with his 2015-spec JCT-Blanche Nissan GT-R.
Tiu clinched his first win in the Quick 8s, outrunning TJ Pangilinan in the CabSpeed Honda Civic EK. Pangilinan floored it hard still, and was rewarded with a second place spot, ahead of third-placer Allan Ararao, on-board his Vannitech W-Autosport Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III.
Tearing up the drag strip on M&H Racemaster Tires, JCT-Blanche’s “Tiunami 1” GT-R then battled it out for the quickest time in the Super Pro Class. Clocking in at an astonishing 9.161 seconds, Tiu took it home once more, ahead of H3-Rurex’s Danes Sarmiento.
Just as Sarmiento crossed the line, he lost control of his blue Honda Integra and sent it crashing onto the barriers. Although the car was damaged beyond repair, Sarmiento got out shaken, but was luckily unscathed.
Prior to this year’s season opener, H3-Rurex’s tuner Ralph De Jesus stated that the Honda Integra was supposed to be retired after the 2014 season, but the team decided to honor it with a final run that day, in memory of the late great Bong Hilario.
In the Pro Class, RSL Motorsports had its season-opening victory, courtesy of their main men, the Manalo brothers Martin and Mark Joseph. Martin blazed through the quarter mile strip to place first, while Mark Joseph settled for second. Meanwhile, Alfred Germar was slotted down to third place, after breaking out of his set time.
The Expert Class witnessed team TEMZ Automart’s first victory for this year. On-board his Honda Civic, Arvin Millet bagged first place. His cousin Jannery trailed in second, followed closely by Jeffrey Crisostomo in third.
The Sportsman Class once again proved to be one of NDRC’s most action-packed and highly-contested divisions. And as expected, it was all on red-hot mode, as Joseph Samaniego stood out from the other 100 racers to grab hold of the first place. Following him closely in second place was Sherwin Jay Esguerra, Erickson Santos rounded off the podium slots in third place.
Capping off the first leg of the 2015 NDRC Northern Series is the Hot Street Class, and taking that first win for the season was Benok Licudine, while crossing the line in 2nd and 3rd places respectively were Harly Calubiran and Steven Ebba.
A record number of 170 drivers went to prove their mettle that weekend. All had a piece of the action, and all had successfully completed their runs.
Ending the night with flamboyant fast cars and fun-filled festivities for racers and race fans alike, the 2015 National Drag Racing Championship is set to rock the local motorsports scene with straight-up, high-octane action. At this rate, it will only get even hotter, as the championship will now move down south at the Batangas Racing Circuit (BRC) for the first round of the Southern Series to be held on January 31, 2015.
The 2015 National Drag Racing Championship is is sanctioned by the Automobile Association Philippines (AAP) and sponsored by M&H Tires, Sparco, GT Radial, and Aguila Auto Glass.
For more info or inquiries about the National Drag Racing Championship, please contact BRCI at (02) 729-5365 or 0932-860-4522. Get the latest announcements at www.facebook.com/BatangasRacingCircuit or log on to www.batangasracingcircuit.org.