Mazda has been one of the biggest supporters of the Motorsport Development Program (MSDP) ever since the grassroots training program began 5 years ago. They’ve built such a strong relationship that Bermaz Auto Philippines, the exclusive distributor of Mazda in the country, has decided to renew the partnership with the Automobile Association Philippines (AAP) by providing 6 brand new school cars for the upcoming school year.
The MSDP’s new teaching tools are identical Mazda 2 SkyActiv sedans. Each one is equipped with a 1.5L SkyActiv-G engine as found in all local-spec Mazda 2’s. However, what makes them extra special are their SkyActiv 6-speed manual gearboxes that are not available from any Mazda dealership nationwide. It’s also important to note that these units are all standard road cars with no modifications done except for some nice-looking stickers.
These 6 machines will be used by MSDP students during its Modules, to apply on ground what they learn in the classroom. Mazda strongly believes that the Mazda 2’s ‘nimble and responsive package’ is a good training platform to hone the on-road driving skills of these young future racers.
“Mazda Philippines is a strong advocate of driver development and has been a long-time supporter of the AAP’s program to uplift the driving skills of future generations,” said Steven Tan, President and CEO of BAP. “This is our favorite program because we believe motorsports is a really good place to start educating young drivers. We feel privileged to be associated with the AAP to educate the next generation of drivers in the motorsport arena.”
But with the arrival of the program’s new set of school cars, it begs the question: What happened to the Mazda 2 SkyActiv hatchbacks BAP donated in 2017? As it turns out, all have been sold off to very lucky private owners and motorsport enthusiasts. AAP also got their hands on one which has since been turned into a full-on race car for the MSDP.
“The MSDP combines driving skills with road safety,” shared Mandy Eduque, Sr. Chair of the AAP Motorsports Committee. “We believe motorsports competitors are the safest drivers on the road. Without Mazda’s support, we would not be as successful as we’ve been. With the start of the MSDP for 2019, we are hopeful the success will continue and expand further.”
The AAP Motorsports Development Program is a grassroots training platform for young drivers who dream of being future race car drivers. See the full details of its 2019 schedule by hitting the link.