Berjaya Auto Philippines (BAP), the exclusive distributor of Mazda vehicles in the country, is strengthening the championship bid of multi-awarded touring car race driver Edwin Rodriguez as he competes again in Division 3 (100-hp class) of the 2015 Philippine GT and Philippine Touring Car Championship (PTCC) series with an all-new 2015 Mazda2 hatchback racecar.

Steven Tan, the President and CEO of BAP and Mazda Philippines, stated that they selected Rodriguez to drive their race-prepared Mazda2 hatchback because the company believes that Rodriguez has what it takes to compete in the championship.

“Mazda has always been about the thrill of driving and our support of Philippine motorsports allows us to communicate our passion more effectively. We found in Edwin that pure desire to compete even when the odds are stacked against him as we saw last year when he drove the outgoing Mazda2 to the championship. This year, timed with the release of the all-new SKYACTIV Mazda2, we believe Edwin can challenge with more confidence and consistency for the overall touring car championship title,” said Tan.

Rodriguez will be driving an all-new race-prepped SKYACTIV Mazda2 hatchback which features the brand's well-known Kodo design language as well as a SkyActiv powertrain and chassis. No exact power output was release however though Mazda did say that it is fitted with a manual gearbox instead of the standard 6-speed automatic.

Edwin Rodriguez and his 2015 Mazda2 hatchback

“I really feel blessed to have such good people behind me. Finally after so many years a car manufacturer is again supporting a local racer. It was just my wish that someday a car manufacturer would be backing my racing career. With the support of Mazda Philippines and with a great new racecar for the 2015 season, my wish has come true. A big, big thanks to Steven and Mazda Philippines for the trust and confidence in me and my team,” said Rodriguez.

The 2014 Philippine GT and PTCC division overall champion driver however stated that he still considers himself and his team as the dark horse in the competition.

“I still consider us the underdog with the limited aftermarket parts for the all-new SKYACTIV Mazda2 race car. But now with a more powerful engine, we will surely give everyone in the division a great battle,” added Rodriguez.