For those who don’t know me, you are probably wondering what my credentials are for being part of the Motoring section of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. One, I don’t drive as often as my colleagues as I’m more of a professional passenger. Two, if you ask me about the car’s insides, I’ll probably need to call a friend (in my case, my husband, Jean Pierre Tuason) for answers. Three, my real claim to fame is that I can put on a full face make-up with liquid eyeliner in a moving car with or without the light just using the vanity mirror.
You might say how irresponsible this is, but in reality, I chose to remain ignorant to keep my laywoman understanding in cars, so I can explain it better to my readers.
Well, another credential is my tenure in the automotive industry. You see, I’m one of the founders of Tuason Racing, and we are celebrating 23 years in the business. What do we do? We teach people how to drive or ride fast… safely.
In the past 23 years, following our formula Learn, Race and Win, we launched several racing programs, including go-karting, circuit cars, superbikes, and formula cars. It all starts with a racing instruction; once you get hooked, you join one of our series, and there you fulfill your dream of being a champion, but sometimes being able to call yourself a race car driver is enough.
Our forte has always been One Make race series. We started with the Ford Lynx Cup and now one of the biggest series in Asia, the Toyota Gazoo Racing Vios Cup. We also did many crazy things, such as creating one of the first drift trucks in the world and competing with it, and going around the Philippines to achieve 10,000 km in the Ford Focus Diesel.
On the safe side, we also teach people how to be better drivers. Pre pandemic, we used to train 5,000 individuals per year including students, professional drivers, and the next generations of road users.
Besides racing events, we were known for the Tuason Racing parties. From beer pong, beer showers to cake fights. There was this one year we got obsessed with Rockeoke that we cut an album with some industry colleagues and had an album launch.
From all the happy memories and career highlights, let me share the five things I learned.
Think out of the Box. Turning your passion into a business is possible, but you need to be creative. Racing is my husband’s passion and when we met, I was in events and was an outsider. With our combined perspective, we built a company that does work in different parts of the world.
Impossible means I’m possible. In our office, the word “impossible” is a challenge. We have created race tracks on national highways. Made roads in seven days. Made Rallye circuits where Serendra is now. We did a Casino Royale in a yacht and did an Amazing Race where we almost fed the media participants to crocodiles.
Always be innovative. There’s a saying in racing you are only good as your last race. So never sit on your laurels long enough for them to dry.
Don’t be afraid to be different. There have been times in the last 23 years that our opinion didn’t jive with the majority. There was a time we stood by what we believed in and had death threats. But we didn’t hang on to the memory of fear. Instead, we remember that incident with the abundant support from friends and even strangers.
Everyone has to have a piece of the pie. When my boys lose the race, one of the things I tell them is, “it’s not every day that ikaw lang ang anak ni God.” For longevity, everyone you work with must also feel successful. That is the only way the industry will grow and move forward.
To end, we are grateful to everyone who took part and is currently part of this journey. It was not ours alone, but everyone who helped grow Philippine motorsports in their unique way. Each player has a unique role, respecting and encouraging everyone to maximize their potential creates a winning team.
Jeanette Ipapo-Tuason’s “why” is to help people become better versions of themselves. Married to multi-awarded race car driver JP Tuason and mother of five children, she is a confessed learning junkie (know it all), avid reader, sometimes life coach (gives unsolicited
advice), triathlete (when not allergic to working out), and cook.