Words by Christopher Kho | Photos courtesy of Tuason Racing School
The first Karting Clinic of the Castrol Champions of the Future (COF) was held last January 16, 2011 at the Carmona Race Track in Cavite where 27 kids, aged 6 to 13 years old, all gunned out to be part of the exclusive 20 young drivers who will be given race scholarships to the 2011 Champions of the Future Series in March. The children of touring car champions and racing enthusiasts, Stuart MacDonald, Sean Redpath, and Vice Governor Marc Leviste joined in the field of young aspiring racers. They were also lined up with the young ones of motoring media guys such as Kotse.com's Ferman Lao, Speed Magazine's Manny Delos Reyes, and Star Columnist Cito Beltran.

The group of young drivers underwent three kart training sessions, which included several exercises to help them understand how to drive a kart properly. The sessions were conducted under the watchful eyes of Tuason Racing School (TRS) instructors' International Kart Champion and race coach Mike Tuason, with Champion Karters Basti Escalante and Jacko Reyes. The COF program provided all participants with complete protective gear including helmets, gloves, and long-sleeved shirts. 
Tuason Racing School Press Release
The Ford Focus - TRS racing team came out victorious after dominating the Philippine Production Car Championships (PPCC), winning 8 out of 11 races in the 2010 season besting different car makes and racing teams. The team's field of five drivers were composed of British national Sean Redpath, Singaporean Marcus Wong, executive Bobby Horrigan, Champion Drifter Bjorn Ongtiabok, and Top Driver Challenge winner Alvin Ng. 

The final four rounds of the PPCC was held at the Clark International Speedway in Pampanga last January 8 and 9, 2011. There, the Ford-TRS racing team became the benchmark of the competition by being the fastest the whole weekend. Alvin Ng qualified on pole for Saturday's race while TRS' driver Bjorn Ongtiabok clocked in a record-setting 2:24.8sec lap time in his 1.8L Ford Focus race car - a lap time which is almost 3 seconds faster than the other teams and saw Ongtiabok start on pole for Sunday's race. 
cof logoKarting has always been regarded as the stepping-stone of racing. Its simplicity and straightforwardness give the perfect opportunity for aspiring drivers to learn the fundamentals of motorsports. Even Formula One champions such as Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso, and Lewis Hamilton all began their careers driving go-karts. Castrol, in conjunction with Tuason Racing School, is giving kids ages 7 to 13 years old the perfect opportunity to live up their racing dreams through the Castrol Champions of the Future.

The Castrol Champions of the Future is a scholarship program for young aspiring racers who are physically fit with a champion attitude. It is a well-organized, safe and cost effective kart-racing program created to bring out the driving talent in every child. To join, you must attend one of the Karting Clinics scheduled at the venues listed below:

January 16, 2011 - Boomland, Pasay
January 30, 2011 - Carmona Race Track, Cavite
February 13, 2011 - Boomland, Pasay
March 6, 2011 - Carmona Race Track, Cavite

The Karting Clinic is a one-day event with 25 driver slots per weekend. Each driver will be provided with complete racing gear, a racing kart, consumables, instructions, and meals in the event.
Words and photos by Eric Ayrton S. Soriano

e-150_01The Ford E-150 Club Wagon is one of the most colossal four-wheeled passenger vehicle in the market today. It has enough space for a fourth-row bench but Ford Group Philippines decided to leave that out to increase luggage space. There are smaller vans that seat more passengers so you can think of the seven-seater E-150 as the Business Class of vans. If, by some weird twist of fate, the starting five of the Boston Celtics decide to pay me a visit, there’s no question what van I will opt for to pick them and their stuff up from the airport. 
November 18 to 21, 2010 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City
Photos by Christopher Kho
Words by Kris C. Lim

tito poch
My heart sank when Car Awards Group Inc. (CAGI) corporate secretary Atty. Robby Consunji told me that Jose “Pocholo” Ramirez, otherwise known as Tito Poch to his friends and family, had succumbed to cancer. It was the end of his four-year battle with the disease. Everybody loved him. He was a good person; a humble and true gentleman. I used to bump into him during motoring events and I would tap him on his shoulder. He would smile at me and tap my arms in return. You could feel his sincerity even in small gestures like that.

Tito Poch grew up in Manila during World War II. He learned how to drive using borrowed jeeps from American soldiers who passed by their house along Taft Avenue. After working as an hotelier at the Waldorf Astoria in New York, he went back to Manila in the '60s. Tito Poch told Arsenio “Dodjie” Laurel (a two-time Macau Grand Prix winner) that he wanted to try go-karts. Dodjie gladly lent him one. His passion for racing began there and the hobby soon turned into a living. He won in races such as slaloms, rallies, and circuit races. The man was a natural.
Words and photos by Eric Ayrton S. Soriano
My first intimate encounter with a Hyundai occurred on the driver’s seat of its austere entry-level subcompact sedan last year. I wasn’t really impressed by the interior appointments of the Accent econo-car. That, plus Korean cars’ old reputation as cheaper but great-value alternatives to the Japanese mass-market brands, left me with modest expectations of the entire Hyundai lineup. 

Test-driving the Hyundai Veracruz and experiencing its remarkable fit, finish, and build quality in an opulent package was therefore quite a surprise to me. The more kilometers I logged on the seven-seater crossover, more of its stellar qualities shined through. It was like falling in love at first sight with your gorgeous blind date and later on discovering that she has great dancing, culinary, and athletic skills; a fantastic sense of humor; and a pure heart that nevertheless doesn’t keep her from turning on her naughty side. She may have a few imperfections such as a tad too much hair above her upper lip but you overlook those because like the Veracruz, all her other fine qualities outweigh these.
Words and photos by Eric Ayrton S. Soriano
The Jeep Commander is not the typical American SUV your beloved high-ranking government official likes to glide through traffic with. Despite being a seven-seater, the Commander is not as hulking or imposing as the  Ford Expedition and Chevrolet Suburban, which both dwarf the Commander. But what the Commander lacks in size, it makes up for with its off-roading might. 

Unlike Sarah Jessica Parker, the Commander begins to look a bit better the longer you stare at it. Then again, some of the world’s toughest SUVs such as the Land Rover Defender, the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen, and the AM Hummer put function before form too. The Commander’s taut proportions are quite purposeful as they lend it agility and nimbleness the Expedition and Suburban could only dream of when the going gets really rough.