January 20, 2022 By Gerard Jude Castillo Words and Photos: TRS

Tuason Racing marks 23 years of passion

From autocross to rally to motorsport festivals, Tuason Racing School has been passionately organizing events that bring the adrenaline-filled world of motorsport to the Filipino. And it has been doing so for the past 23 years–all of which have been highly charged and filled with a love for the sport. 

THE BEGINNING

The making of Tuason Racing started out with just a hobby, with JP Tuason being a prominent scion of the Tuason Racing family, it is obvious that racing is definitely in his blood. Jeanette, on the other hand, is quite an achiever too, with organizing events, writing, and modeling under her belt. Looking at them, the couple can make any of their goals come true.

And reaching the couple’s goal to give opportunities to Filipinos to excel in motorsports is not an easy ride. Inaccessibility and limiting cost was a struggle, yet the couple made ways to push through with their ideas.

January 1998 was the year it all materialized. Jeanette and JP organized a series of racing clinics along with another karting team spearheaded by brothers Joby and Kiko Oreta and the late Danny Sy. The combined strength of the couple gave them an opportunity to start working on their goal in the racing industry.

LIVING ON ITS PASSION

After a year, Tuason Racing School was born. JP and Jeanette, this time along with JP’s brother Michael worked on creating a safe space for racing enthusiasts to further improve and discover their potential in karting. Different events such as the Arthur Tuason Memorial Cup in 2000 (in commemoration of the late racing legend and JP’s father, Arthur Tuason) and the annual racing series brought out the best in every student of TRS. These efforts paved the way for TRS to help different organizations such as Leukemic Indigents Fund Endowment (LIFE) to support Leukemia patients.

CIRCUIT RACING ON ITS WAY

Another year, another opportunity.

2001 was the year the couple decided to do more research on what Tuason Racing School can offer in the next few years. They took courses in racing schools and facilities of Skip Barber, Michael Andretti, and Richard Petty to know more about the ins and outs of running a racing school.

After going to the US, the Tuasons along with the members of his Karting Team, namely Michael Casimiro, Neil Monzones, and PJ Custodio, bought Honda Civics to be able to start offering classes in Circuit car armed with a systematic and scientific curriculum based on their years of experience and new knowledge. They also adopted a turnkey racing class by providing the vehicles, safety equipment, and venue. This philosophy was embraced by the Tuason’s as one of their keys to success that made a mark in the motorsports industry.

TUASON RACING JUST GOT STARTED

While you may think that things were becoming exciting, TRS was apparently just getting started. New, upcoming racers are then emerging from the racing school operations, and the couple took it as a sign to have created a grassroots one-make race series that can help new drivers hone their skills before competing at the National Level.

2003 also marked TRS and Ford Philippine’s partnership with TRS-Ford Lynx Cup. The goal of the series was to discover new talents and enable karters to jump into circuit racing. Notable graduates include siblings Mark and Michelle Bumgarner, Ivan Carapiet, Pia Boren, and more.

LEARN. RACE. WIN.

From then on, Tuason Racing School has been successful in conducting racing classes that opened doors of opportunities to young, racing talents to train and discover their potential to be the best racers that they can be.

But TRS didn’t stop there. 2004 was the year that the company also ventured into creating a road safety curriculum and defensive driving training as part of its initiative to introduce that racing skills can help make you a better driver on the road. TRS has trained thousands of people all over the world and now, TRS partnered up with different brands such as Standard Insurance, Philip Morris, Ford Philippines, and more for its Road Safety arm.

Tuason Racing was never afraid to take risks, as they partnered up with brands to create things that you won’t even imagine. In 2006, Ford Philippines launched the Ford Focus cars in the Philippines with TRS. The team organized a unique concept with the Celebrity and Media Challenge and converted empty parts of Bonifacio Global City into a mirror image rally track. This widened the scope of service offered by TRS to not just a racing school, team, and race organizer, but an automotive events Organizer.

TRS hasn’t stopped making things happen since then. TRS and Ford’s partnership bloomed to more innovative events. decided to convert some of the school cars to full-fledged race cars to compete in different races all over the country including the Philippine Touring Car Championship (PTCC).

In 2008, Ford Focus Diesel cars were converted as race cars to promote the performance capability of diesel-powered engines. Mike Tuason developed, raced, and won on a diesel-powered car that amazed PTCC to the core.

Again, TRS is making things happen. The company organized more regional automotive launches and drive programs and further developed their racing curriculum and reach as they started accepting racers from different parts of the world.

In 2011, TRS launched the Ford Fiesta Cup, a grassroots circuit car program aimed to provide a cost-effective entry point into circuit car racing for all racing enthusiasts. This one-make series program has become pivotal in many Filipino racing champions’ careers as it gives them a chance to hone their skill before going into the National Series.

TRS also launched the Champions of the Future karting program which provided cost-effective and hassle-free racing for kids ages 8-15. This program produced the next-generation champions including international karting champions Juha Turalba, Javi Benitez, Gabe Tayao, Jacob Ang, Eduardo Coseteng, and Flynn Jackes.

As the company believes that they can achieve more, TRS ventured into Superbike training through its partnership with California Superbike School for superbike enthusiasts that aim to train about safety usage and better control over their rides.

But every successful company has its own challenges and TRS is no exception. With the financial crisis hitting the motorsports industry with the fall of high spending races. But one to never back down, TRS concentrated on organizing and developing automotive events and races for different groups and brands.

With every fall comes a great setback as back in 2014, Toyota Philippines tapped TRS to promote the newest version of the Vios, a new one-make series that sought to reach a wider audience with celebrity racers on board.

The Vios Cup series has then become one of the most sought-after biggest racing events in Asia through the years.

After successful years of Vios Cup, Tuason Racing and Toyota Motor Philippines expanded the program to Vios Racing Festival, which included the Vios Autocross Challenge along with its Circuit Championship.

For another level up, 2018 marked another high for Tuason Racing as they introduced Formula V1 in the Philippines that aims to provide the next step for aspiring racers to compete globally. They launched The GITI-Formula V1 Race Challenge with 18 drivers on the grid, including international competitors. Aside from the series being the next step for Filipino racers, the series champion also gets an opportunity to compete and race alongside Japanese racers in Japan.

Tuason Racing’s goal is to roll out the program to other countries, creating the possibility of a regional competition that will enable the participants to compete all over the world.

It was smooth sailing until the COVID-19 pandemic came last 2020. But being a company that never backs down to any challenges, TRS then ventured into organizing virtual races to relive the spirit of racing and help those who are in need at the same time.

TRS organized “Race For Frontliners” together with Phoenix PULSE which aims to pioneer an ESports campaign that can also raise funds in support of the Frontliners in various Barangays around Metro Manila. Racing enthusiasts, media, and celebrities gathered together and were able to raise a total of P403,000 for various front liners and barangays.

As they take the races online, Formula V1 Virtual Cup was launched in the same year. All races took place via the eSports acclaimed game which is Assetto Corsa which can be played via PC. This unboxed TRS’ Formula V1 Series for the year and provided complimentary career paths for all the racers.

All virtual initiatives were successful, and TRS created an avenue not just for on-ground drivers, but sim racing enthusiasts as well. 2021 continued more virtual racing events but on-ground races came back with a bang as well, such as the 2nd season of GITI-Formula V1 Race Challenge.

Tuason Racing also continued its partnership with Phoenix Fuel’s with its “Phoenix Pulse Young Driver’s Program: Celebrity Showdown.” Eight celebrities participated in this online reality show with different virtual and on-ground racing challenges that aim to reveal who’ll be representing the Phoenix Pulse Racing Team in the upcoming Formula V1 Virtual Cup 2021. This attracted more people and racing fans to get to know racing more at the comforts of their home.

NO WAY TO GO BUT UP

Today, Tuason Racing has proven its performance as premier motorsport and automotive business, who has organized global, regional, and local events and counts numerous brands that value professional and one-of-a-kind experiences.

Now in its 23RD year, Tuason Racing will continue to help racing aspirants fulfill their racing dreams with professionally organized, world-class and exciting race series and events both online and on the ground.

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