At the end of 2017, the AAP – Motorsport Development Program (MSDP) held its very first Gymkhana Finals. It saw regional category champions from around the Philippines face-off to see who’s the fastest driver of them all. It served as the culminating event for last year’s MSDP Gymkhana Series, and guess what? They’re having another one this year.
There’s currently a 4-round series happening simultaneously at 5 different locations in the country, namely in Metro Manila, Cebu, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro / Iligan, and Davao. The winners from each area will then come together at Megatent Libis on November 4 and bid for the title of MSDP Gymkhana Champion.
Driving identical Mazda 2 SkyActive race cars, all competitors in the Gymkhana Finals will drive around a course and attempt to set the fastest time. Drivers are ranked in qualifying before they race head-to-head in a knock-out double elimination format.
The MSDP is now halfway through its 2018 Gymkhana Series with favorites emerging from each city.
In Metro Manila, young gun slalom driver Paul ‘Powee’ Base and Vios Cup driver Estefano Rivera are already on route to win 2 categories which will qualify them for the finals. There’s also newbies Nico Salvador and VJ Bacungan who currently lead the ‘1300cc Below’ and ‘1301-1500cc’ categories, respectively.
Cebu has a bunch drivers in contention. Ezra Decena and Jude Ornopia head the ‘1300cc Below’ and ‘1301-1500cc’ categories so far. Meanwhile, Bobby Pangilinan and Manu Miranda are tied in the ‘1501-1800cc’ class, so are Jette Calderon and Julian Neri in the ‘1801-2000cc’ class. Mark Paray also has a good chance as he slugs it out with the best drivers of Cebu in the ‘2001cc and Up’ class.
Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City have joined forces in hosting the Gymkhana Series in their region. After coming short in last year’s title chase, Mark Bernales is now dominating both the ‘1300cc Below’ and ‘1301-1500cc’ classes. Edu Agudo, who was also a finalist last year, should make it into the finals if he can hold onto his slim lead in the ‘2001cc and Up’ category.
Tenny Montuno leads both ‘1300cc Below’ and ‘1301-1500cc’ classes in Davao, while Mario Roque heads the “1801-2000cc’ and ‘2001cc and Up’ categories.
Finally, the newest stopover in the MSDP tour Iloilo City has produced its own roster of talented drivers. Jun Española leads the ‘1300cc Below’ category, Glenn Gallos in the ‘1301-1500cc’ category, Francisco Maravilla in the ‘1501-1800cc’ category, Erbi Ferancco in the ‘1801-2000cc’ category, and Ian Rosales in the ‘2001cc and Up’ category.
All drivers mentioned are vying for a slot in the MSDP Gymkhana Finals this coming November.
2018 AAP-MSDP Gymkhana Finals Schedule
August 12 (Round 3 – Cebu) | Kart Zone, Cebu
August 19 (Round 3 – Manila) | Megatent Libis, Quezon City
September 2 (Round 3 – Davao) | Filinvest, Tagum City
September 9 (Round 3 – CDO) | Pueblo Ground, Cagayan de Oro
September 16 (Round 4 – Cebu) | Kart Zone, Cebu
September 30 (Round 4 – Iloilo) Gaisano, Iloilo City
October 8 (Round 4 – Davao) | Ocean Cove Filinvest, Davao City
October 28 (Round 4 – CDO) | Pueblo Grounds, Cagayan de Oro
November 3 (Round 4 – Manila) | Megatent Libis, Quezin City
The AAP-Motorsport Development Program (MSDP) is supported by the FIA Sport Grant programme, partnered with Mazda Philippines. You may contact Motorsport Development Program Facebook Page for more information on the Gymkhana events and it Saturday Modules on learning basic car racing skills.
For inquiries on the MSDP Modules or Gymkhana Finals, visit the AAP Motorsport Development Program page on Facebook.