AAP Awards First-Ever MSDP Gymkhana Champion, Concludes Eventful 3rd Season
The Automobile Association Philippines (AAP) held its first Motor Sport Development Program (MSDP) Gymkhana finals last November 5.
MSDP class finalists from Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Tagum, Davao, Bacolod, Baguio and Metro Manila came for a final showdown at Megatent, Libis in Quezon City.
From 18 class champions, it came down to two. Then out of the two best drivers, only one emerged, the fastest and the first-ever MSDP Gymkhana Champion—Boodie Dabasol.
During the competition, which followed the Asian Auto Gymkhana Competition format, all 18 contenders drove the Mazda2 SkyActiv cars that had been turned over by Mazda Philippines in support of the MSDP.
The MSDP class champions went through two qualifying rounds. After the eliminations, only four drivers were left to go head-to- head: Boobie Dabasol, Joshua Roxas, Norris See and Ryan Ablang. It then came down to a double elimination round during the finals where Dabasol and Roxas had to battle it out for the top spot at the podium.
During the first heat in the finals, Roxas clocked in at a good 48.46 seconds while Dabasol completed the track at a solid 48.29 seconds. Then in the second heat, Roxas just wasn’t fast enough, clocking in at 48.38 seconds versus Dabasol’s formidable time of 47.14 seconds.
Boodie Dabasol from Manila was named MSDP Gymkhana Champion with Joshua Roxas from Baguio taking 1st runner-up. Norris See from Cebu bagged 2nd runner-up while Ryan Ablang, also from Manila, was 3rd runner-up.
The MSDP Gymkhana was launched in March as the trial application of the theories taught in the MSDP curriculum.
MSDP students who attend the modules are encouraged to participate in the Gymkhana “to know how it is like to compete, so that they can find out for themselves how to execute what we have taught them,” AAP motor sport operations manager Mark Desales said.
MSDP Culminates a Positive 2017
The day before the MSDP Gymkhana Finals, the young drivers program culminated its season with the last Module 1 conducted for the final batch of 2017.
AAP MSDP head instructor and 10-time National Rally Champion Vip Isada encouraged the participants to keep practicing what they have learned in Module 1 in their everyday driving.
“We hope that when we start with Module 2 next year, you’ll still remember everything we’ve taught you here. We don’t conduct Module 2 straightaway after Module 1. We’re giving you time to correct your driving technique and practice on your own,” Isada reminded the young drivers.
AAP motor sport department chair Mandy Eduque expressed how he was “grateful that everyone’s three-year effort with the MSDP is continuously paying off.”
Eduque noted the achievements of the program for the past year, including attracting more young drivers from the key cities of Bacolod, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, and Metro Manila. MSDP also expanded its reach in May as it went to Tagum City, Davao for the first time.
The grassroots program organizers are thankful for the continued support of Mazda Philippines, which provided five brand new Mazda2 cars last July for MSDP training.
In September, Bendix Brakes, BlueChem and NWB Wipers became the program’s newest partners, expressing their support as MSDP continues to inspire a passion for motor sport, develop the level of driving among the youth and improve their knowledge and practice of road safety.
Aside from Mazda PH and Seaoil as the major sponsors, the MSDP is supported by Dynamics Suspension, Autoperformance PH, Aeromed Ambulance Transport, Walter Light and Sounds, Time Attack Manila, Rota Wheels, Hazardboy Performance, TS Tuning, FORS, Race Motor Sports Club, SpeedLab, HotPipes, K&N Performance, Dynapack and GR Tuning.
On November 5, Sunday, MSDP held its first-ever Gymkhana Championship at Megatent, Libis, Quezon City. MSDP Class Champions from Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Tagum, Davao, Baguio and Metro Manila competed in the finale.
AAP motor sport chair Mandy Eduque (at right) watches as a finalist is flagged off.
Boodie Dabasol (2nd from left) of the Metro Manila MSDP Class took home the MSDP Gymkhana championship cup with Joshua Roxas (at left) from Baguio bagging 1st runner up, Norris See (3rd from left) of Cebu as 2nd runner-up and Ryan Ablang (at right) also of Metro Manila as 3rd runner-up.
MSDP instructor Ivan Isada coaches a driver of a multi-cab through the course as cars lined up behind wait for their turn. MSDP encourages participants to bring the vehicle they usually drive and are comfortable operating, to teach the value of car sympathy.
All the participants drove the Mazda 2 SkyActiv cars turned over by Mazda Philippines back in July in support of MSDP.
The Motor Sport Development Program Batch 2 finalists (R-L) Miguel Reyes, Armand Marcaida, Hazel Ramirez, Andre Delos Santos and Carlos Marzo with MSDP Batch 1 finalist Polo Bautista comprised the AAP-MSDP-Bermaz team that competed at the Philippine Endurance Race last Dec. 2-3 at the Clark International Speedway. Racing with the Mazda 2 SkyActiv, the six completed 163 laps with the best time of 2 minutes and 33.784 seconds.