5 Mazda2 units and Jinba Ittai energize AAP’s motorsport program


Mazda Ph turns over the winning Madza2 Skyactiv racecar to Edwin Rodriguez.

Take a closer look at the Mazda logo. Everything about it signifies the start of an exciting event, like a majestic bird poised for high-altitude flight.

On July 22, at the open grounds of the Megatent Events place in Libis, Quezon City, premium Japanese auto brand Mazda formally began for the country what its emblem embodied, through a motorsports development program initiated by the country’s premier national automobile club.

Five brand new Mazda2 SkyActiv subcompact hatchbacks were formally handed over by Bermaz Auto Philippines (the exclusive Philippine distributor of Mazda vehicles) to Automobile Association Philippines, the country’s first and oldest automobile club.

The five Mazda2 units would be used exclusively by AAP for its Motor Sports Development Program to benefit young, talented, and aspiring racers aged 16 to 19 years old.

The turnover was held in conjunction with the MSDP Module 1 training workshop for the young talents at the Megatent facility held the same day.

Also at the formal turnover ceremony, the Jinba Ittai Academy was introduced.

Daredevils on the tracks, not in the streets.

The academy espouses Mazda’s design and engineering innovations that enhance car control, and ultimately elevate driving pleasure.

Plans for Mazda to expand the Jinbai Ittai Academy via AAP are underway.

“It is really important to start out learning how to drive well,” shared Steven Tan, Mazda Philippines president and CEO.

“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 the MSDP. It started off small two years ago, and now that the program has taken off, we are encouraged with the results.

“This is why we decided to give AAP five fresh Mazda2 cars for them to use. This is one program that really works.”

Gus Lagman, AAP president, responded: “The MSDP would not have been as successful as it is today without the generosity of Mazda Philippines. This is not only going to be for motor-sports, but also for mobility and road safety.”

“Our mantra is to make motorsports safe, fair and affordable,” said Mandy Eduque, AAP’s Motor Sports Committee chair.

Fiery red matches the adventurous spirit of Jinba Ittai.

“The objective of MSDP is not only to get drivers interested in racing, but more importantly, to make them learn how to drive properly on and off the track. The partnership with Mazda has worked well for us these past three years,” Eduque added.

During the presentations, Tan cited the achievements of Edwin Rodriguez, Mazda Philippines’ official race driver in the Philippine Touring Car Championship and the Philippine GT Championship, two top-level national racing events.

After winning the Philippine GT Driver of the Year and the PTCC Division 3 overall championship for 2016, Rodriguez formally accepted ownership of the championship-winning Mazda2 SkyActive racecar that he had been driving since 2015.

Rally legend Vip Isada molds would-be successors.

“We want to recognize Edwin for helping build, race and develop a relationship with the Mazda2, and we felt that the car should now belong to him,” declared Tan.

Bermaz Auto Philippines’ current product lineup now includes the Mazda2 subcompact sedan and hatchback, the Mazda3 compact sedan and hatchback, the Mazda6 full-size executive sedan and sports wagon, the CX-3 freestyle crossover, the all-new CX-5 five-seater, the all-new CX-9 seven-seater premium crossovers, the MX-5 2-seater sports roadster, and the BT-50 pickup truck.

There are now 19 Mazda dealerships located across the Philippines and Metro Manila.

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