Now Reading
25 years at pole position

25 years at pole position

By VJ Bacungan

Tuason Racing School (TRS), the Philippines’ premier motorsports organizer, celebrated its silver jubilee on Friday.

TRS has become a household name among racing enthusiasts as the longtime organizer of the Toyota GAZOO Racing Vios Cup, which is the country’s most popular one-make race series. It also handles the higher-tier Formula V1 single-seater series, in collaboration with WEST Racing Cars in Japan.

Speaking at Palms Country Club in Alabang, TRS co-founder and Chief Culture and Strategy Officer Jeanette Tuason (also a resident Inquirer Motoring columnist) started the event thanking the company’s partners over the years, including the media, carmakers, influencers, and drivers.

Broke students starting out

The company began in January 1999 while Jeanette and her future husband were still dating.

TRS founder and CEO JP Tuason is the scion of Filipino racing legend Arthur Tuason, who molded his son to go into professional racing. JP eventually ended up competing in Formula 3 races abroad.

“From day one, we never looked back,” JP said in a speech.

“We never had a back-up plan,” he added. “We were passionate. We were hardworking. And we were broke, so we really had to work.”

Overcoming massive challenges

JP recounted how TRS had to overcome huge challenges over the last two-and-a-half decades to achieve the status that it has reached today.

One particularly tough time was the Vios Cup street race in Cebu in 2015. After shipping 60 cars and 10 containers, they discovered five days before the event that their Cebu-based partner was not able to secure the necessary permits.

“This is like a company closer,” JP said. “We were gonna lose our jobs, basically.”

But TRS, through teamwork and sheer perseverance, found a way around this problem.

“For the next four nights, we wined and dined people from the city council to the Mayor’s office to congressmen to people from DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways),” JP said. “And finally, 24 hours before the event, we were able to figure out how to use the SRP road, but only one side.”

Despite this setback, TRS kept pushing to make sure that the event pushed through.

“We came up with a plan to use the back road, but unfortunately, that back road was an open road and right beside it was the sea,” JP said. “So in 24 hours, we had to barricade that back side, hire boats and divers, just in case somebody flew into the ocean. And to top it off, there were 30 meters of unfinished road. We opened a construction company in 24 hours and asphalted that road.”

“And that race became epic!” JP added, drawing huge applause from the audience.

See Also

Tuason Racing Co-founder, Jeanette Tuason

In fighting form

TRS’ headstrong spirit continues into 2024 with a variety of new motorsport initiatives like:

• Open Doors Program: A highlight of this program is the 1NZ Unity Cup, which is a unique opportunity for racers with the Toyota 1NZ engine to compete in a grid of up to 35 cars. TRS said this platform is not just about competition – it’s about honing skills, gaining experience, and preparing racers for higher levels of competition.

• Top Driver Challenge: Provides career opportunities in motorsports, both online and on-track, including roles as racing instructors and WORKS team members. TRS said this project offers a platform for racing enthusiasts to turn their passion into a profession.

• Champions of the Future: This karting program is dedicated to training the next generation of race car drivers. It caters to drivers aged 8 to 16 and aims to nurture young talent and provide a path to a career in motorsports.

• Team Road Safety: An advocacy program that offers free road safety seminars to schools and villages. TRS said these campaigns provide a different approach to making our roads safer.

• Scholarship for Mechanics: A scholarship program to support and educate aspiring professionals in this field and allow them to keep Filipino talents and work in teams abroad.

“Tuason Racing is all about innovation,” JP said. “We want to be able to provide ‘always better, win-win solutions’ to everyone around us.”