AAP Opens MSDP 2017 Season with the Most Participants, Launches MSDP Gymkhana
AAP Motorsport Operations Manager Mark Desales and MSDP lead instructor Vip Isada flag off the first gymkhana participant.
AAP’s Motor Sport Development Program (MSDP) started its 3rd season with the largest number of participants that the program has seen since it began in 2015.
Last March 25, the Automobile Association Philippines (AAP) conducted the first module of the MSDP for more than 50 eager young drivers at Mega Tent Libis, Quezon City.
“After having done this for two years, and now on its third year, if I may say so, the results have been quite good,” said AAP Motor Sport Committee Chair Mandy Eduque who welcomed the third batch of MSDP participants.
The Golden Wheel Hall of Fame awardee cited the success of the first MSDP batch who placed 8th during last year’s Philippine Endurance Challenge, the MSDP team’s first entry in endurance racing.
The MSDP Batch 1 had also competed earlier in Round 1 of the 2017 Flat Out Race Series (FORS) at the Batangas Racing Circuit with everyone making podium finish in their respective in classes.
“Here, you will learn that sometimes slower is faster and faster is slower.” Eduque said. “I hope that learning the right way will give you some incentive to try motor sport on your own. I think I speak for everyone here that motor sport is the most fun you can have with your clothes on.”
Ten-time National Rally Champion and lead MSDP instructor Vip Isada added that “what we aim to do here is teach you the basics of motor sport so that, in guiding you, it may become your passion just like it is ours.”
The grassroots program does not only teach young aspiring race drivers about the proper driving technique but also provides a holistic approach to hone the individual. The young driver’s program instills in its students that the proper mindset and attitude—the “champion attitude”—is not only for the race track but also for activities outside and beyond motor sport.
“With most people, they focus on the car and do upgrades here and there,” Isada noted. “ But what about the driver? We say, upgrade the driver first before you upgrade the car.”
The MSDP is open to drivers who are 16 to 19 years old, physically fit and willing to learn. The curriculum covers basic driving skills, understanding motor sport, road safety awareness, safety in motor sport, flag and hand signals, motor sport organization, interpersonal skills and continuous development.
MSDP Gymkhana Launched
The following day, March 26, AAP launched the MSDP Gymkhana, its newest addition to the program. Around 30 participants joined the event which was also held at Megatent, Libis in Quezon City.
The MSDP Gymkhana is a trial application of the theory taught in the MSDP curriculum.
“We want the participants who attended the module lectures to immediately apply what they have learned in the classroom, to see how they execute what we have taught them,” said AAP Motor Sport operations manager Mark Desales.
MSDP participants who attend the lectures are not required to join the Gymkhana, but they are encouraged to do so to experience and learn more about actual motor sport competition.
“We want them to know how it is like to compete. They’ll find out for themselves that when you’re out there, there won’t be any time to backtrack on your mistakes,” added Desales.
The MSDP Gymkhana is open to all. Participants can join on up to 2 classes per event. Drivers who participate are required to wear helmet, pants shirt with sleeves and closed shoes for minimum safety-wear.
The MSDP is supported by Mazda Philippines and 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 Motorsport Club, Speedlab, Hotpipes, K&N Performance, Dynapack and GR Tuning.