Bermaz Auto Philippines, the Japanese carmaker's official local distributor, formally turned over five brand-new Mazda 2 S hatchback units to the AAP last July 22, signifying the brand's continued support toward developing Filipino racing talent and educating young motorists.
"It is really important to start out learning to drive well," says Bermaz Auto Philippines head Steven Tan, who led the handover ceremony. "It is less useful to be criticizing driving on the road because we all have to do our part in teaching people the right way to drive. We are proud to be associated with the AAP in supporting MSDP."
Tan added that Bermaz Auto has been pleased with the MSDP's results ever since it began two years ago, citing this as a reason for the company's decision to provide the organization with a fresh batch of training vehicles. "This is one program that really works," the executive said.
AAP president Gus Lagman expressed his gratitude for Mazda's continued support, saying the MSDP would not be where it is today without it. "It would not be as successful as it is today without the generosity of Mazda Philippines," he said.
The company also introduced its Jinba Ittai Academy, which hopes to highlight Mazda's driving philosophy and proven driving techniques via the brand's engineering and tech. Mazda Philippines says there are plans to expand the program with the help of the AAP.
Besides the turnover ceremony, Mazda also took the opportunity to recognize Edwin Rodriguez for bagging the 2016 Philippine GT Driver of the Year Award and the Philippine Touring Car Championship division 3's top prize. Rodriguez was given ownership of his championship-winning vehicle—a race-prepped Mazda 2—for his achievements. He has been racing for Mazda Philippines since 2013.
"Thank you so much Mazda Philippines for believing us as well as giving us this opportunity to compete at the top levels of Philippine motorsports," Rodriguez said.
With Mazda's continued support for the AAP and its MSDP, we can expect more young drivers to move up into the local motorsports scene. At the very least, these kids will learn to drive as responsibly off the track as they do on it.