AAP MSDP and Mazda Partnership Strengthens with Turnover of 5 Brand New Cars
Mazda Philippines President and CEO Steven Tan greets AAP Motor Sport Chair Mandy Eduque and AAP President Gus Lagman before the turnover ceremony.
The 22nd of July was a momentous day for the Automobile Association Philippines (AAP) Motor Sport Development Program (MSDP) as Mazda Philippines turned over five brand new Mazda 2 cars, confirming its continuous support for the program.
Tan talks about how happy Mazda is with its partnership with the AAP MSDP and how they will continue to support the program as AAP Motor Sport Operations Manager Mark Desales, AAP Trustee and Motor Sport Chair Mandy Eduque and AAP President Gus Lagman (standing, rightmost to left) listen.
“We have been very impressed with the results of the program,” said Mazda Philippines president and CEO Steven Tan.
“Last year, when the first batch of MSDP graduates placed eighth during the Philippine Endurance Challenge, besting more experienced drivers, we said ‘The program really works, so why not give them five brand new cars?’”
During the turnover ceremony at Megatent in Libis, Quezon City, Tan cited how, with the rapid motorization of the country, the MSDP is a good program that improves the level of driving and road safety.
AAP president Gus Lagman thanked Tan, saying: “AAP truly appreciates the partnership with Mazda which not only helps to promote local motor sport, but also supports our advocacy of road safety.”
AAP trustee and Motor Sport chair Mandy Eduque recalled: “Initially, Mazda came to us and said ‘We’d like to support the program and we’d like to lend you cars for exclusive use on the track.’ It was like a gift from heaven because it’s hard to get cars for this sort of thing. The partnership has worked for us and we are truly grateful to Mazda.”
Eduque added: “How do you get young people interested in motor sport and, more important, how do you get them to drive properly? You get them into the MSDP. If the results of our three-year effort are any proof, the program really works.”
The MSDP is a nationwide program at the grassroots level for talented young drivers, ages 16 to 19, who undergo scientific training and preparation for eventual competition in motor sport. Organized by AAP in 2015 with a grant from the FIA Foundation, the MSDP is conducted by a pool of motor sport champions and experts including 10-time National Rally Champion Vip Isada as the lead instructor, 2014 and 2016 National Slalom Champion Milo Rivera and 2000 National Rally Champion and 2003 Navigator Champion Art Guevara.
Aside from Metro Manila, MSDP modules are conducted in Bacolod, Cebu, Davao Cagayan de Oro and Tagum City. AAP hopes to extend the program to provinces in Northern Luzon by the end of 2017.
AAP’s partnership with Mazda Philippines began in 2015 when the Japanese carmaker offered three cars for the MSDP’s use. When it was time to retire the vehicles, Mazda gladly provided replacements.
AAP Motor Sport operations manager Mark Desales said: “The five new cars will be used during the hands-on training part of the modules. But MSDP participants should still bring their own cars since its best to learn with the vehicle that they are familiar driving with.”
The turnover ceremony coincided with MSDP’s Module 1 for 2017 which was attended by more than 50 participants. To date, more than 400 young participants have joined the program since it began three years ago.
A photo records the momentous day for AAP MSDP and its major sponsors, Mazda Philippines and Seaoil.
With Mazda Philippines, the MSDP is also supported by Seaoil. Other partners include Dynamics Suspension, Autoperformance PH, Aeromed Ambulance Transport, Walter Light and Sounds, Time Attack Manila, Rota Wheels, Hazardboy Performance, TS Tuning, FORS, Race Motorsports Club, SpeedLab, HotPipes, K&N Performance, Dynapack and GR Tuning.
After the turnover ceremony, the MSDP instructors and students used the new Mazda 2 cars during the practical driving session.