After holding regional events around the country, the Motorsport Development Program (MSDP) recently staged their Gymkhana Finals to find the quickest driver of 2017. It took place at the Megatent in Libis, Quezon City last 5th of November where the best 18 drivers from the Philippines came to race.
The MSDP, through the Automobile Association Philippines (AAP), happens to be a grassroots training platform that turns young hopefuls into future champion drivers. They conduct lectures and hands-on trials that educate participants on different topics such as basic race skills, motorsport psychology, and race strategy. New for 2017 is the Gymkhana where students can put theory into practice.
They then invited the top drivers from MDSP legs in Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Tagum, Metro Manila, and Bacolod to face-off in the Gymkhana Finals.
The format used was patterned after the Asian Auto Gymkhana Competition. Here, drivers are given 2 heats in qualifying, then race head-to-head in the eliminations, through the finals, ’til a champion is crowned. Track layout changed between rounds and all drove identical Mazda 2 SkyActiv race cars to give everyone an equal footing.
Competitors were knocked out one-by-one until only 4 were left for the quarter finals. Joshua Roxas from Baguio, Norris See from Cebu, plus Boodie Dabasol and Ryan Ablang from Manila had to go up against each another for a spot on the podium. And when all their battles had ended, it emerged that the final showdown would be between Boodie and Joshua.
As the way it goes, Boodie only had to outrun Joshua once to win the event, while Joshua needed to win twice if he wanted to become champion.
The first heat saw Joshua post a solid 48.29 secs run to beat Boodie by 0.17 secs. But he wasn’t as lucky on their second outing. Boodie flexed his muscle and posted the course’s fastest time of 47.17 secs, thus claiming the 2017 Gymkhana Finals title. That meant Joshua finished 2nd, Norris See was 3rd, and Ryan Ablang was 4th.
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Co-presented by Mazda Philippines, the 2017 AAP Motorsport Development Program (MSDP) is sponsored by Seaoil. It is also supported by Bendix Brakes, Bluechem, NWB Wipers, TS Tuning, Walter Lights and Sounds, Aeromed Ambulance Transport, Dynamics Suspension, ROTA Wheels, Hazardboy Performance, FlatOut Race Series (FORS), Race Motorsports Club, Time Attack Manila, AutoPerformance Ph, Clark International Speedway, Batangas Racing Circuit, Kart Plaza Manufacturing, and Megatent Hall Libis.