MSDP PH Endurance: AAP MSDP Batch 2 Finalists Prep for Philippine Endurance Challenge
It’s almost graduation time for the Batch 2 finalists of the AAP Motor Sport Development Program (MSDP) but the six would have to compete first in the Philippine Endurance Challenge (PEC) on December 2-3.
The Clark International Speedway will once again become the battle ground for the country’s longest endurance race where Andre Delos Santos, Armand Marcaida, Bien Madriaga, Carlos Marzo, Hazel and Miguel Reyes will be contending against seasoned race car drivers just like what their predecessors did last year.
“These kids have been working really hard,” said MSDP head and AAP Motorsport Department operations manager Mark Desales. “They’re getting better with their driving, executing the scientific methods we’ve taught them and consequently improving on their track times.”
Last October 14, the group joined the 8th round of the Flat Out Race Series held at Clark. According to Desales, the Batch 2 MSDP finalists will have one more training session in the 11th Leg of the National Slalom Series, this time at the Tarlac Racing Circuit.
“Compared to their first seat time during one of the local slalom events, we’ve seen quite a significant improvement in their driving and how they handle their race car,” Desales noted. “Proving their mettle in the eight-hour endurance race is the culmination of all the things that we’ve taught them.”
Lessons on Balance, Proper Mindset and Safe Driving
Almost a year into their MSDP journey, Delos Santos, Madriaga, Marzo, Ramirez and Reyes talked about how they have learned a lot of things, from really helpful racing tips to even simple life hacks. All agreed that the lessons on balance, proper mindset and safe driving have helped them become better drivers.
“Coach Vip always talks about balance apart from teaching us about the right driving position, braking and turning,” Marzo said. “Balance is needed in the proper application of gas and brake to help a driver enter and exit corners aggressively,” echoed Delos Santos.
To Madriaga, it’s all about having presence of mind: “You really need to be focused especially when you’re making quick decisions out there. When they teach you about new racing lines or advanced driving techniques, you have to concentrate so that you can properly employ them when you’re driving. These lessons helped me lower my times in slalom, autocross and circuit driving.”
“MSDP has also taught us that whenever we’re behind the wheel, we should always be responsible for our actions,” Reyes added. “At the end of every lesson and training, we drive safer and faster,” said Ramirez.