The Arthur Tuason Memorial Cup (ATMC) - an annual kart race for charity held in honor of racing legend Arthur Tuason - recently marked its eighth year at the Manila Speedzone karting track at the Fort Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.
The event featured four classes, all without weight consideration - Novice (for drivers without karting experience) Cadet (for kids aged seven to 12), Expert (for drivers experienced in kart racing), and the Media/Celebrity division.
This year's ATMC followed a sprint format where racers participated in three heats—a five-minute qualifying time trial, a pre-final heat (where the top six or seven placers advance to the finals) and a final heat. Final heat winners got a P10,000 cash prize, a trophy, a set of Goodyear tires and gift certificates from Gonuts Donuts and Timezone.
The Novice division saw participants divided into two groups of 11-12 karters each per pre-finals heat, with the top three placers per pre-finals heat securing a finals spot. For the fourth placers until the seventh placers (for each pre-finals heat), they were given the chance to catch one of four slots to the finals via a second chance heat. Once the finals heat cast was assembled, karters were lined up along the track via a reverse grid ruling, in which the karters with the three fastest times in the pre-finals heats were relegated to the fourth to sixth slots, while the karters with the fourth to sixth fastest times saw themselves at pole position, second and third respectively on the grid. Once the checkered flag dropped down on the 15-lap Novice finals, Jemimah Isidro held off a late charge by Jun Tumambing to take the win, with Samantha Ho coming in third.
The rest of the divisions saw participants compete in three heats – a five-minute qualifying period, a pre-finals heat, and a finals heat with reverse grid ruling for all places. In the 10-lap Cadets final heat, Aira Medrano overtook Martin Azurin on the chicane leading to the incline on the penultimate lap to get the win. Martin Azurin finished second, while Edric Go finished third. In the hotly contested 15-lap Expert final, Roby Benito held off Brandon Chin to take first place, with Jen Tumambing taking home third. Last but not least was the 15-lap Media/Celebrity heat, where Speed Magazine editor-in-chief Manny de los Reyes qualified fourth, then played it coolly in the pre-finals heat (finishing ninth) and eventually took first place in the finals. Second place in the finals was Manila Times motoring editor Brian Afuang, while Auto Review's Ronald de los Reyes finished third.
The ATMC was able to raise an undisclosed (as of press time) amount of money for the Mabuhay Deseret Foundation, an institution that helps less fortunate kids who are born with minor deformities. In its first four years, the ATMC's beneficiary was the Leukemic Indigent Fund Endowment (LIFE), which helps kids with leukemia—the very disease that claimed Arthur Tuason, father of Tuason Racing School (TRS) founder and director JP Tuason.
The 2007 ATMC is sponsored by Ford, Petron Ultron, Bosch, Goodyear, Standard Insurance, Schick, Aguila Auto Glass, Ambi Pur Car, Oakley, H&R Springs, K&N Filters, Rota Wheels, Bravura, Bilstein, Recaro, Starbright Bodykits, Manila Speedzone, Palmer-Asia Inc., Acer, C! Magazine, trapik.com and hastravel.com.