Mazda and AAP strengthen partnership through MSDP

Bermaz Auto Philippines, the exclusive distributor of Mazda vehicles and parts in the country, together with the Automobile Association Philippines, the country’s biggest and oldest automobile club, renew their partnership for the AAP’s Motor Sports Development Program (MSDP) with the formal handover of five brand new Mazda2 S SKYACTIV hatchbacks for exclusive use in the training of future racing talents.

Steven Tan

Held in conjunction with the MSDP Module 1 training workshop for young drivers last June 22, 2017 at the Megatent facility in Libis, Quezon City, Mazda Philippines president and CEO Steven Tan, reiterated Mazda’s commitment not only in discovering new racing talent but also in doing its share in educating the youth on the proper way to drive.

“It is really important to start out learning how to drive well,” shares Tan. “It is less useful to be criticizing driving on the road because we all have to do our part in teaching people the right way to drive. We are proud to be associated with the AAP in supporting MSDP. It started off small two years ago and now that the program has taken off, we are very encouraged with the results. And this is why we decided to give AAP five fresh Mazda2 cars for them to use in the MSDP. This is one program that really works. “

Gus Lagman, president of the AAP, was likewise encouraged by the support Mazda has shown to the MSDP. “We would like to thank Mazda for the success of MSDP. It would not have been as successful as it is today without the generosity of Mazda Philippines. This is not only going to be for motor sports but also for mobility and road safety.”

Mandy Eduque, Chair of the AAP’s Motor Sports Committee, also affirmed AAP’s commitment in developing motor sports through the MSDP. “Our mantra is to make motor sports, safe, fair and affordable,” says Eduque. “The objective of our Motor Sport Development Program is not only to get drivers interested in racing but more importantly, to make them learn how to drive properly on and off the track. The support of Mazda is very important to the MSDP. The partnership has worked very well for us these past three years. So I’d like to take this occasion to really thank Mazda for the support and we hope to continue this relationship for a long time for the betterment of motor sports.”

Along with the formal handover of the new cars, Mazda also took the opportunity to introduce the Jinba Ittai Academy. With the support of the AAP, the program not only aims to share Mazda’s philosophy of connecting the driver with his car to make driving fun and engaging, but to also correlate this with proven driving techniques and Mazda’s design and engineering innovations that together enhance car control and elevate driving pleasure. Future plans with the AAP to expand the Jinbai Ittai Academy’s audience are underway.

Rodriguez (2nd from right) with Bermaz executives.

As a highlight to Mazda’s three-year support for Philippine motor sports, Steven Tan likewise led the company in appreciating the extraordinary efforts of Edwin Rodriguez, its official race driver in the Philippine Touring Car Championship and the Philippine GT Championship, both top level national racing events. After winning the Philippine GT Driver of the Year and the PTCC Division 3 over-all championship awards for 2016, Rodriguez formally accepted ownership of the championship-winning Mazda2 SKYACTIV racecar that he had been campaigning since 2015. “We want to recognize Edwin for helping build, race and develop a relationship with the Mazda2 which won him races and we felt that the car should belong to him,” shares Tan.

“Thank you so much to Mazda Philippines for believing us as well as giving us this opportunity to compete at the top levels of Philippine motor sports, “ says Rodriquez, whose PTCC racing career with Mazda began in the 2013 season in Division 3, a class  he handily won with an earlier model Mazda 2.