After holding elimination rounds all over the Philippines, the Automobile Association Philippines (AAP) recently concluded the 2017 Motorsport Development Program (MSDP) Gymkhana season. The Gymkhana final round was held in the Megatent Hall in Quezon City last November 5, 2017.
In case you didn’t know, MSDP workshops are a grassroots training platform that teaches the basics of racing to young drivers, equipping them with the necessary knowledge, skills, and discipline in making them have the potential to become champion race car drivers. The program consists of lectures and on-road trials that educate participants about basic race driving skills, motor sport psychology, safety, vehicle dynamics, race strategy and the conditioning of both the driver and the vehicle.
This year, the top students of the MSDP workshops held in Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Tagum, Metro Manila, and Bacolod were invited to participate in the Gymkhana finals. 18 drivers from across the Philippines were able to qualify. They raced each other using identical 2017 Mazda 2 Skyactiv cars provided by Mazda Philippines.
The competition was patterned after the international format seen at the Asian Auto Gymkhana series. Heats are usually head-to-head, where two participants battle against being eliminated. Qualifying establishes matches between racers, who then outpace each other until the last person emerges the champion. After qualifying, the 18 racers were paired against each other for the elimination rounds.
The course layout seemed to be perplexing to many participants at first. They were promptly guided by MSDP head instructor Vip Isada, who noted where they were going wrong.
Competitors were knocked out one by one until 4 drivers emerged for the semifinals. Boodie Dabasol from Manila faced off Joshua Roxas from Baguio, while Norris See from Cebu battled against Ryan Ablang from Manila. A new course layout was laid to give everyone an equal footing.
Dabasol was able to knock out Roxas to proceed to the finals. Ryan Ablang had to settle for 3rd runner up as he was outpaced by Norris See. Roxas had another shot to reach the finals by taking out See, who took the 2nd runner up spot.
The finals were a showdown between Boodie Dabasol and Joshua Roxas. In the double elimination format, Dabasol only had to beat Roxas once to win the event, while Roxas needed to overcome the top-seed Dabasol twice.
A solid 48.29 time by Roxas was faster than Dabasol by 0.17 seconds, extending the game to sudden death. Roxas almost matched his previous pace with a 48.38 time, but it was not enough to hold back Dabasol, who posted the course’s fastest time of 47.17, taking the Gymkhana championship.
The AAP Motorsports Development Program will be back next year, holding new workshops and fielding races nationwide. We highly recommend aspiring racers to attend.
For more information or inquiries, visit the AAP MSDP page on Facebook (www.facebook.com /aapmotorsportdevelopmentprogram).
The 2017 AAP Motorsport Development Program (MSDP) is co-presented by Mazda Philippines, and 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, Flat Out Race Series (FORS), Race Motorsports Club, Time Attack Manila, Autoperformance Ph, Clark International Speedway, Batangas Racing Circuit, Kart Plaza Manufacturing, and Megatent Hall Libis.