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Upping The Ante Of Philippine Motorsports

Make no mistake about it, while the world of motorsports may smell of gasoline fumes and burnt rubber, be filled with the grime of motor oil and grease; it’s a world of glamour, of money, and speaks of affluence and the jet-settinglLifestyle. Just look at the world of Formula One as it criss-crosses the globe, or the NASCAR circuit in the USA; while the millions who support and attend come from a very broad cross-section of society—the owners’ pits, the racers, their wives and girlfriends, speak of deep pockets. 

Here in the Philippines, the surnames of those who have made their mark in motor racing through the years belie the interest and passion that ‘buen familias’ have in the sport. Starting with Dodjie Laurel in the 1960’s, we’ve had Tuason, Bumgarner, De La Merced, Guidicelli, Stockinger, to name a few of the surnames associated with Motorsports. And while these racers have had to travel abroad in order to hone their craft and make a name for themselves, that may be slowly changing soon.
 

 

JP Tuason being interviewed, beside the Giti Racing car

 

JP Tuason is one passionate motor racing guy. There’s a racing school that bears his name, he’s a road safety trainer invited to conduct seminars abroad, and he’s a renowned motorsports event organiser. His new ‘baby’ is the GITI-Formula V1 Race Challenge—an opportunity for those excelling in the races held here to climb the proverbial ladder and move on to the next stage. Collaborating with the Japanese racing company, West Racing Cars Suzuka, he’s establishing a new level of racing. 

 



With racing cars that can go from 0 to 100 kph in 4.5 seconds, and operating at top speeds of 200 kph, the V1 cars will race at the Batangas Racing Circuit come May 12 and 13; followed by a series of Challenges at the Clark Speedway in August and October. These will be 2 12-lap races; and culminating in November with a Finals whose format will be a four hour endurance challenge.

 

 


As of now, there are eight teams competing, with one coming from Japan, and one from Indonesia. A number of Filipino racing royalty families are involved in the eight teams. And at the launch event held at the Versus Barcade in BGC, the palpable excitement of what will commence right here, for the first time, could be felt.