It is not surprising that many motorsport events in the Philippines are still suspended (even cancelled for this year) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has greatly affected motorsport aficionados and the business that revolves around it.
For better or worse, this has also resulted in the shift of attention toward e-motorsports, and in the country, Tuason Racing is one of the pioneers for such initiatives.
In March, back when the government announced the lockdown, Tuason Racing immediately refocused from real-world to virtual with its Race for Frontliners program.
“We knew we wanted to be in the digital space as early as 2019. So we pushed forward all our digital events such as the young driver program online with a skew to help our frontliners. What was very interesting was this pivot to online racing was done while in lockdown without even one physical meeting with our team,” Tuason Racing founder and CEO JP Tuason said.
Virtual races are nothing new in the e-gaming industry, but in the new normal, it has given enthusiasts and gamers alike a new perspective, and Tuason Racing “took the opportunity to launch motorsports in the virtual world" to address the growing audience.
“There has been a continuous surge for online games during the lockdown. More and more people are doing games since there are limited live activities to do. In the US all gaming stocks are on a high showing that this is really the future,” Tuason said.
Tuason also said that while virtual races are still young in the Philippines, the racing clinic will provide the necessary training along with the creation of professional league for players to enhance their skills on track and in online platforms.
Aside from Race for Frontliners, Tuason Racing has other new programs lined up.
“We have decided that the whole 2020 will be work-from-home. We have moved to the digital arena by creating online race series. We have finished Race for Frontliners, Toyota has just launched their e-sports program The GR Supra GT Cup which we are helping organize and in August we are launching another online league on a PC platform along with a complimentary spectators program where they can make their own teams and win prizes."
"Aside from this we are creating weekly content for race enthusiasts called Riding shotgun conversations with TRS,” Tuason narrated.
Further, despite the threat of the COVID-19 health crisis still in the horizon, Tuason is positive that the automotive industry will recover.
“It will recover as mentioned. Companies are evolving. It won’t be called car companies but mobility companies…they will surely find new ways. There will be some casualties but life goes on and those that will survive will thrive but probably not the same way we have seen in the past,” Tuason concluded.
Photos from Tuason Racing School and Toyota Motor Philippines