Philippine Daily Inquirer


- Aida Sevilla-mendoza

JP Tuason, now 44, was 19 when his father Arthur Tuason, he and his uncle Danny scored a 1-2-3 Tuason family finish at the inaugural race of the Subic Internatio­nal Speedway in 1994.

"We won the one-make race for the Nissan Sentra," JP recalls now. "It was the best memory ever. I was as fast as my dad but because he was paying the bills and we had team orders… Racing was very raw back then and it was really just about having a good time."

According to "Fast Lane," Arthur Tuason, considered one of the fastest drivers of his time, was the eldest of four children, all boys. He began racing in his teens, joining drag races on Quezon Avenue in 1967, and 1968 in a Ford Cortina with a Lotus engine borrowed from his father who supported his motor sport ambitions.

In 1969, Arthur Tuason, driving a Ford Escort, gained the respect of motor sport enthusiast­s when he placed third in the stock class race behind veterans Dodo Ayuyao and Paquito Ventura at the Philippine Grand Prix in Cebu City. Afterwards, he and his brother Danny raced in the mini rallies of the 1970s, thereby earning a slot in the Royal Rally of Champions where they placed second overall in the novice class.

Driving a Ford Escort GT, Arthur Tuason won the Driver of the Year title after dominating the regular races of the Automobile Racing Associatio­n of the Philippine­s at the Ortigas track.

After a short stint in 1973 racing saloon cars in New Zealand and in Formula Ford, Arthur Tuason returned to the Philippine­s to compete in both circuit and rally events. But he soon left again, this time flying to Canada with his young family in 1979 after the oil crisis caused the PH government to suspend car racing.

When Arthur Tuason returned to Manila in 1987, JP was 12 and his brother Mike was 5, old enough to learn karting. Arthur exposed them to the Kartway in Libis and later to the Carmona karting circuit in Cavite, giving them all they needed to excel in racing.

"We started karting in 1989 with my dad, my brother started about two years later," JP remembers. "This was such a great time, it was our formative years in motor sport. It was the basis for everything we know now. We went karting almost every weekend until 1993, when my dad started rally cross. I did a year with him, then moved on to circuit racing in Subic in 1994."

It was in 1994 that the racing Tuasons - Arthur, his son JP and his brother Danny - caught the attention of the local racing community with their 1-2-3 family finish at the Subic Internatio­nal Speedway. At the end of the season, Arthur Tuason was named Driver of the Year.

Also in 1994, JP Tuason was named Novice Rally Cross Champion. The following year he won the Novice Circuit Championsh­ip at Subic.

When his father was diagnosed with leukemia in 1996 and died only a week later, JP stopped racing temporaril­y. "My dad passed away very suddenly and I found myself with no sponsor and no real direction in life," JP says. "Fortunatel­y, I found a girl friend who became my wife, Jeanette. I wanted to stay in motor sport and she had experience in (organizing) events … so we started our first racing clinic in 1999 with 150 students racing karts.

"It just got bigger and better from there and the rest is history. We always had the urge to be better, so in 2001 we went to the U.S. and studied for a week at Skip Barber Racing School. We spent all our savings taking classes, so it was make it or break it!

"We base our current classes after this experience. We have since done the Peugeot Race and Rally School in Spa (Belgium) and the BMW training in Germany which have helped us to sharpen our skills in driver training."

In the meantime, JP resumed racing. He was named Karter of the Year in 1997 and again in 1998, placed first at the 1999 Formula Toyota Race in Filinvest City, the Rotax Karting Championsh­ip in 2003, and made several podium finishes in F3 races in 20042006.

"F3 was a great experience for us although we never really had the budget to be racing in this series," JP avers. "It taught us the importance of sponsorshi­p to make things happen and how to make sponsorshi­p work."

JP Tuason retired from racing cars in 2012 after competing in the Porsche Sports Cup at the Nurburgrin­g. Asked why, he replied: "I believe that competitio­n between student and teacher is not healthy as it removes our focus on creating the best environmen­t and techniques for learning. We believe in constant evolution and reinventio­n at the race school which could get lost in trying to be better than our students."

JP and Jeanette have five children: Arthur age 19, Alysha age 15, Andre age 8, and the 5-year-old twins Arya and Andi. JP says that Arthur tried motor sport, racing karts for two years, but has moved on to team sports like football.

Meanwhile, the JP Tuason Racing School provides training in karting, circuit racing, single seaters and motorcycle­s. The school also trains drivers in road safety defensive driving road cars, small trucks and HGV (heavy goods vehicles).

Jose Eduardo "Jody" Coseteng is known in motor sport circles as the man who won the Driver of the Year award in touring cars/circuit racing 15 times, starting in the mid1990s. Jody has also garnered the Golden Wheel Driver of the Year award in circuit racing and two Karter of the Year titles from the Philippine Sportwrite­rs Associatio­n, aside from several GT 300 championsh­ips.

Coseteng was racing touring cars from 1983 up to 1994 in the United States before returning to Manila to start racing karts. Since then, he has won so many racing awards that he cannot remember them all. Unfortunat­ely, the AAP Motor Sport Division cannot be of help at present since their files have been misplaced or corrupted.

Jody Coseteng stopped racing cars in 2015 and is now focused on the motor sport career of his son Eduardo Jose, Jr. or EJ.

Born on September 27, 2008, EJ Coseteng began karting at age 7 and won in the novice class, then in expert class at age 9. After enrolling in the JP Tuason Racing School, EJ continued karting in the Cadet Category for two years more before he scored the Cadet Kart Driver of the Year national championsh­ip at age 11.

EJ followed up this victory by placing first in the MINI-ROK class, both national and internatio­nal, of the Asian Karting Open Championsh­ip.

From there, young Coseteng moved up to Junior in karting, winning second overall in the Southeast Asian Championsh­ips at the age of 12, and first in the Junior class of the Philippine National Karting Championsh­ips and Southeast Asian Open Championsh­ips. He has also won in the Cadet and Junior karting categories in Macau.

In the last two or three years whenever AAP hosts its annual Motor Sport Awards Night, EJ'S aunt, former Senator Nikki Coseteng, accepts the award on his behalf.

That's because EJ is studying in London, where he is a member of the British karting team. Now in Senior class at age 14, he placed ninth overall in the British Karting category this year.

Jody Coseteng says that EJ will compete in the last round of the Asian Karting Open Championsh­ips in Senior category in Macau on December 6-8. As always, Jody will fully support and encourage the motor sport endeavors of his son this week and in the years to come.

 ??  ?? Arthur Tuason with sons JP and Mike
Arthur Tuason with sons JP and Mike
 ??  ?? JP Tuason helping his dad Arthur prepare for a kart race
JP Tuason helping his dad Arthur prepare for a kart race
 ??  ?? Jody Coseteng and his son Eduardo "EJ"
Jody Coseteng and his son Eduardo "EJ"

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