Friday, January 23, 2015

Jonathan Tiu Quickest in First Leg of 2015 NDRC Northern Series


Reigning champion Jonathan Tiu began the 2015 season of the National Drag Racing Championship (NDRC) on a high by winning the first leg of the Northern Series, held last January 17 at the Clark International Speedway (CIS).

Sporting minor modifications, Tiu returned this season with the JCT-Blanche Nissan GT-R with hopes of defending his title. Of course, he also has his eyes set on beating his own 8.806 second quarter mile record.

Tiu’s first victory of the day came in the Quick 8s when he managed to outrun TJ Pangilinan in the CabSpeed Honda Civic EG to take 1st place. This left Pangilinan to claim a hard-fought 2nd, while Allan Ararao in the Vannitech W-Autosport Mitsubishi Evolution 3 finished in 3rd.

JCT-Blanche’s so-called “Tiunami 1” GT-R, shod in M&H Racemaster Tires, then went up against Danes Sarmiento in the H3-Rurex for the Super Pro Class. Unfortunately, Sarmiento’s blue Honda Intega veered off course and went up against the barriers after crossing the line, damaging it beyond repair. This handed the victory to Tiu, who covered the quarter mile in 9.161 seconds, despite Sarmiento winning the heat.

Sarmiento was brought to the medical center after the incident, but was otherwise unhurt.

As explained by H3 tuner Ralph De Jesus, the H3-Rurex Honda was supposedly retired after the 2014 season. However, the team decided to race it one last time in memory of the late great Bong Hilario, marking this it’s very last outing.

Meanwhile, the Pro Class was dominated by the Manalo brothers of RSL Motorsports. Martin in the No. 76 Honda EG took home 1st place, while Mark Joseph in the No. 67 machine settled for 2nd. Alfred Germar, on the other hand, was bumped down to 3rd place after breaking out of his set time.

In the Expert Class, Arvin Millet in the No. 3 TEMZ Automart Honda Civic finished in 1st with his cousin Jannery trailing behind in 2nd. Jeffrey Crisostomo then went on to win 3rd in class.

As for the highly-contested Sportsman Class, Joseph Samaniego bested all the other 100 drivers to take 1st place, followed by Sherwin Jay Esguerra in 2nd, and Erickson Santos in 3rd. Finally, 1st place in the Hot Street Class went to Benok Licudine, while Harly Calubiran and Steven Ebba were awarded 2nd and 3rd places, respectively.

All in all, the successful race weekend attracted a record number of 170 drivers who competed in the event’s five official classes. And despite the sheer number of competitors for the day, all were able to complete their runs, which finished at 10:30 in the evening.

See you at the next leg, and the start of the Southern Series, of the 2015 National Drag Racing Championship on January 31 at the Batangas Racing Circuit (BRC).

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.

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