Along with 100 other delegates from 18 countries, the Automobile Association Philippines (AAP) was in attendance at the recent 5th FIA Sport Regional Congress in Bangkok, Thailand. On its agenda were topics ranging from event management, safety-and-risk management, and most important to us, grassroots motorsports.
The Philippine delegate was represented by AAP Motorsport Director Mandy Eduque, AAP Motorsport Coordinator JC Quillain, and current AAP Chief Operating Officer and former Motorsports Manager Mark Desales. In his presentation, Desales highlighted the achievements of the Motorsport Development Program (MSDP) since its inception in 2015.
With a grant from the FIA, this is the AAP’s home-grown grassroots motorsport training program that prepares driving enthusiasts aged 15 to 19-years-old to become future racing championships. It began conducting modules in only 4 locations, but has since expanded to cover 9 cities, increased to 4 events per region, that total to 28 motorsport events per year. The MSDP then added a National Gymkhana Finals in 2017 to allow their students put what they learned into practice.
Today, the MSDP has trained more than 1,635 young drivers with 70 graduates now into motorsport competition. It now plans to apply for another grant in 2020 to further enhance the program and (perhaps) get into eSports.
“The Regional Sport Congress is an annual FIA meeting with all clubs and member ASNs in the Asia-Pacific region to align their plans and goals. It’s a chance for the AAP to collaborate and get ideas from other clubs that will be beneficial to our sport,” said AAP Chief Operating Officer Mark Desales.
“We are looking on developing our own eSports and collaborate with other clubs that has an existing eSports program. With this, we can introduce another means into the sport and enhance our grassroots development.”
[Photo courtesy of Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile]