William “Bill” Hand outran a 166-car field to win for the very last time at the 4th leg of the 2015 National Drag Racing Championship (NDRC) Northern Series.
Held at the Clark International Speedway (CIS) last November 28, the long-overdue season finale was moved from its original schedule last May 30 due to technical problems with the track’s timing system. It was then pushed back another 6 months to avoid the monsoon season.
Hand announced his retirement from competition at the age of 72 after this season together with Garage Power Racing teammate “Big John” Rizya. Rizya himself will leave the sport as the oldest ever drag racer at 75 years old fielding his 1967 Chevrolet “Thunder” Camaro.
Aiming to go out with a bang, Hand was poised to go up against Jonathan Tiu for the Quick 8 and Super Pro crown. But the JCT-Blanche “Tiunami 1” Nissan GT-R suffered mechanical issues, forcing Tiu to rely on his older Mitsubishi Evolution VIII for the day’s races.
The various Quick 8 heats whittled the field down to just the 2 rivals for the finals with Hand launching his 1932 “Blue Haze” Ford Roadster to get ahead of Tiu until the finish line. A timing system glitch, however, showed that Tiu won the match-up. The issue was later resolved by the race stewards headed by Race Director Phil Guilfin, awarding the win to Hand as well as the Quick 8 championship for the 2015 NDRC Northern Series.
Tiu placed 2nd, while teammate Jonathan Young in the Honda Integra came in 3rd.
In the Super Pro Class, it was Hand and Tiu again gunning for top honors as their machines were the only ones capable of registering a dial-in time of quicker than 10 seconds. Tiu outpaced Hand for 2 consecutive runs in a best of 3 battle, netting him the Super Pro top spot and the class championship.
As for the Pro Class, John Rizya’s “Thunder” Camaro was sadly unable to progress into the final heat. This allowed Arvin Jay Millet in the Temz Automart Honda Civic to claim 1st place. Meanwhile, the RSL Motorsports Honda Civic of Castillo Bernabe and the SMDC Toyota Sarlet of Jojie Benedicto took 2nd and 3rd places, respectively.
In the Expert Class, Arvin Jay Millet wrapped up his successful season with yet another win, while Angelo Chua garnered the 2nd place. Chris Jason Millet then went on to claim 3rd place.
The brimming Sportsman Class saw Jannery Millet on the top spot, besting Robbie Francisco who broke out from his dial-in time. Arvin Don Villalobos took home 3rd. Paul Michael Galban took 1st place in the Hot Street Class over Harly Calubiran. Alfred Cayas then cinched the final podium spot.
With over 166 entries, the competitors were taking advantage of the event’s later date to scratch their racing itch and prepare for next year’s championship. Drag heats ran well into the night, but the enthusiasm of all competitors never wavered. The NDRC will return next year for a new season of fast-paced, high-revving action.
The 2015 National Drag Racing Championship is sanctioned by the Automobile Association Philippines (AAP) and sponsored by M&H Tires, Sparco, GT Radial, and Aguila Auto Glass.
2015 National Drag Racing Championship Northern Series Leg 4 Results
1st William Hand
2nd Jonathan Tiu
3rd Jonathan Young
Super Pro Class
1st Jonathan Tiu
2nd William Hand
1st Arvin Jay Millet
2nd Castillo Bernabe
3rd Jojie Benedicto
1st Arvin Jay Millet
2nd Angelo Chua
3rd Chris Jason Millet
1st Jannery Millet
2nd Robbie Francisco
3rd Arvin Don Villalobos
Hot Street Class
1st Paul Michael Galban
2nd Harly Calubiran
3rd Alfred Cayas