The Tuason Racing School (TRS) - the Philippines' premier school for racing - is now at its busiest since it was founded by president Jean Pierre "JP" Tuason six years ago.
Karting clinics, circuit car training, defensive driving seminars, corporate events and test drives are just a few of the activities that the school alternately organizes on a weekly basis.
Mr. Tuason, who is a former karting champion and Formula Three driver said that "Aside from the training programs that we offer to the public, we also run several racing teams which participate in the Super Karting and Asian Formula Three Series. From time to time, we also field cars in tarmac rallies. As part of our driver development program, we also organize our own series to help prepare our graduates for racing in the real world. These include the Champions of the Future Series, which is a karting series for kids aged from eight to 13, and the Ford Lynx Cup Advance and Novice Series, which is a series that pits drivers against each other in identically prepared Ford Lynx touring cars."
TRS also runs the first and only search for racing talent in the country. In 2002, the school started the Top Driver Challenge, which was designed by Tuason to provide a means for aspiring race drivers to prove their mettle through a demanding program of tests and evaluations under the watchful eyes of experienced instructors. It follows a format where participants compete against each other in a series of four increasingly difficult trials of skill, courage and character: a video game challenge, a karting challenge, a track day and a circuit car challenge. The winner earns as his or her prize a fully paid drive in the TRS-Ford Lynx Cup Novice Series. "The idea is to give young, inexperienced enthusiasts an entry point through which they can determine if they have what it takes to become a race driver. Since it is a grassroots program, the Top Driver Challenge allows us to screen more potential drivers, who otherwise would not have had a crack at the sport," said the scion of Philippine motor sports legend Arthur Tuason.
The Top Driver Challenge has produced the likes of Jeff Borja, who graduated from the program and went on to win the Ford Lynx Novice and Advanced Series. As a matter of strict policy, the Top Driver Challenge is open only to participants aged 17 and above with a valid driver's license, with no professional racing experience. "This helps us ensure that whoever makes it will have no bad habits and preconceived notions about racing," said Mr. Tuason. The TRS head also added that Mr. Borja is a good example of how one can make it in racing. "Before the Top Driver Challenge, he had never sat in a go kart or racing car. He has proven that he can hold his own in competition," said Mr. Tuason.
Soon, the TRS will unveil its newest offering - a Formula Ford program, which will complete Tuason's vision of providing aspiring racers the chance to progress from karting all the way to either touring cars or open wheelers. Just like the Ford Lynx program, students will be able to learn how to drive identically prepared Formula Ford cars and compete against their fellow students in a one-make series.
In the past, motor racing was traditionally a sport wherein only the moneyed could participate. Oftentimes, those who had the wherewithal to fund and pursue their careers did so on a trial-and-error basis—learning without any formal instruction or guidance, buying and racing expensive machines only to find out that they did not make the grade required to pursue a successful motor racing career. This made motor sports an exclusive and peril-laden sport, which effectively shut out those with potential but without any means to try it. At the TRS, students can learn and compete safely and cost-effectively. All of the programs are designed in such a way to give students plenty of seat time and fun.
The TRS is sponsored by Ford Group Philippines, Smart Addict, Standard Insurance, Petron, Ambi Pur, Goodyear, Oakley, Adidas,ROTA, H & R, Options Unlimited, TRS Auto Developments, Bingo Bonanza, DPC, PIKA, The Manila Speedzone, Alaska, Philippine Star, Trapik.com and C! Magazine.
For more information, one may visit the TRS at 41 Pioneer Street corner EDSA, Mandaluyong City. You may also call 635-2587 or (0918) 929-7859 or visit their website at www.tuasonracing.com.