THE TUASON DY­NASTY

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - MOTORING - 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

JP Tuason help­ing his dad Arthur pre­pare for a kart race

Jody Coseteng and his son Ed­uardo "EJ"

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