The Arthur Tuason Memorial Cup (ATMC) - an annual kart race for charity held in honor of racing legend Arthur Tuason - recently marked its seventh year at the Manila Speedzone karting track at the Fort Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.
The event featured six classes - E-standard Novice Light (for drivers below 150 lbs. and who have never raced in go-karts), Petron Novice Heavy (for drivers above 150 lbs. and who have never raced in go-karts), Ford Cadet (for kids aged seven to 12), Bosch Expert Light (for drivers below 150 lbs. and experienced in kart racing), Red Horse Expert Heavy (for drivers above 150 lbs. and experienced in kart racing) and the Goodyear Media and VIP (Very Important Person) division.
This year's ATMC followed a sprint format where racers participated in three heats - a five-minute qualifying time trial, a six lap prefinal heat (where the top six or seven placers advance to the finals) and an eight lap final heat. Final heat winners get a P10,000 cash prize, a trophy and a set of Goodyear tires, second placers get a trophy, a gift certificate from Oakley and a bevy of gift packs, and third placers get a trophy and a number of gift packs.
RJ Ronquillo topped the E-standard Novice Light class with a fastest lap time of 0:58.059 seconds, edging Jose Melchor and Brandon Chin. The Petron Novice Heavy division winner was Michael Johnson, followed closely by Jun Tumambing and Jed Fajardo. Bosch Expert Light Division top rank went to Roby Benito (with a 0:57.392 fastest lap), followed by Joey Orduna and Juha Turalba. Another Juha (Roiha) blew away the competition in Red Horse Expert Heavy with a fastest time of 0:58.483, with fellow Finn Pasi Riipen edging third placer Raymond Ronquillo on the final lap to take second place. A. R. Medrano took number one in the Ford Cadet class (with a 1:02.258 fastest lap), with Javi Toledo coming in second and third place going to Jennifer Tumambing.
Highlight of the event was the Goodyear Media and VIP heat, where autoindustriya.com editor-in-chief and general manager Brent Co took first place in all heats (qualifying, pre-final heat and finals), and finished with a finals fastest lap of 1:00:453. Second place in the finals was Manila Times motoring editor Brian Afuang, while C! Magazine associated editor Chris Van Hoeven finished third. Noteworthy was autoindustriya.com associate editor Jude Morte racing (who finished ninth in the 15-man media/VIP field finals amidst stiff competition) and Manila Bulletin's Jason Ang, who caught the last bus to the finals heat.
The ATMC was able to raise a total of Php 140,000 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, Addict Mobile, Petron, Bosch, eStandard Insurance, Red Horse Beer, Oakley, H&R Springs, K&N Filters, Rota Wheels, Bravura, PCSO (Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office), Bilstein, Tradeshow, Starbright Bodykits, Manila Speedzone, Palmer-Asia Inc., Sikkens paint, C! Magazine, trapik.com and Maxim.