The Automobile Association Philippines has just launched a grassroots-level training program aimed at developing the driving techniques of young drivers interested in improving both their everyday driving and racing skills. But before everyone goes on yapping about how we don't need a new generation of reckless speed freaks taking to the streets, get this: The AAP is making sure that these kids understand the fundamentals of road safety, both on and off the racetrack.
Thirty-five participants--all drivers from 16 to 19 years of age--have just completed the first module of the AAP's "Motorsport Development Program," which focuses on basic driving skills, understanding motorsports, interpersonal skills, and road safety awareness.
Lead instructor and rally driver Vip Isada emphasizes the importance of teaching young drivers to always keep safety in mind when behind the wheel of a vehicle.
"Motorsport is not just about speed--it's about discipline," he says. "In this program, we don't teach speed, because you can always learn that. Here, we will teach you basic driving, driver psychology and road safety. The next modules will be taught when you continue with the development program."
He also encourages parents to be present during the module, to see that motorsport is actually a safe hobby when practiced responsibly. The instructor hopes that by seeing how safe the sport is, parents will be more supportive of their kids' passion.
AAP motorsport operations manager Mark Desales shares Isada's sentiments regarding road safety, and also calls the first module a huge success based on the feedback of participants, saying everyone is already looking forward to the next part of the program.
"The participants described it as a well-organized, safe and cost-effective program created to bring out the driving talent in every individual," he shares.
The second session of the AAP program's Luzon leg will be scheduled as soon as organizers can determine and set a venue, while the Visayas leg is scheduled for September 26 and 27 in Bacolod City. Anyone interested in joining the young drivers' program can find more information and register online through the association's Facebook page.