Have you ever wondered how famous race car drivers like seven-time Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher got into motor sport? You have probably watched a Formula One race on television and perhaps asked yourself, how did those people get to drive those fabulous million-dollar race cars?
It is a motor sport fact that many successful race car drivers in the world started in karting and that includes Michael Schumacher.
Karting is the most popular entry-level competition in motor sport. The local karting scene has produced excellent race car drivers, one of which is our very own Marlon Stockinger. Marlon drives for the Lotus Formula One Junior Team and is currently competing in GP2, hoping to become the first Filipino driver in Formula One, the pinnacle of motor sport.
In our country, there are quite a number of karting venues where you can rent a go-kart that comes together with all the safety equipment needed (race suit and helmet) to experience the exhilarating sport of racing cars. Especially for youngsters, karting is the preferred way to get into motor sport and learn the fundamentals of racing.
Another type of entry-level motor sport event is slalom, which is favored by those in their teens and young adults. Slalom is commonly held in the parking lots of shopping malls that can easily be accessed and watched by anyone. If you are an ordinary car guy and wish to push your car to the limit during a Sunday with your family watching in a safe and enclosed environment, slalom racing is for you.
Still another way to start your racing career is by participating in the more popular track day or circuit club events. A regular weekend drive to either the Clark International Speedway in Pampanga or to the Batangas Racing Circuit in Rosario, Batangas, will allow you to extract the ultimate performance from your car on the track – but keep safety as your utmost priority, of course.
If you are serious about getting into motor sport, get acquainted with the Automobile Association Philippines. AAP is the only national sporting association and Philippine automobile club affiliated with the FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile), the Paris-based international organization that governs all four-wheel motor sport worldwide including Formula One, 24 Hours of Le Mans and the World Rally Championship.
AAP is authorized by the FIA to regulate and sanction motor sport events in the Philippines and to issue competition licenses to qualified drivers and motor sport officials licenses. AAP governs five motor sport disciplines: karting, touring car, drag, slalom and 4×4 off-road.
Many of those who try the different entry-level competitions pursue their passion and dream of becoming a race car driver by obtaining an AAP racing license. With an AAP competition license, you can join different local races in the country. Some drivers who make the grade move up to international competitions.
To learn more about getting into motor sport, call the AAP Motor Sport Department at 655-5889 or visit our website: aap.org.ph.