Thursday, June 28, 2007
Auto Skills Contest Won By California Students

Austin Castro and Daniel Lehmkuhl, both students of San Luis Obispo High School of California, topped the 2007/AAA Student Auto Skills National Finals competition which took place at the Ford World Headquarters last Tuesday. The two grabbed the top prize by finishing the task in a span of 49 minutes. They had a great start by figuring out the problem and fixing it in no time.

“We felt fairly relaxed during the competition,” Lehmkuhl said. “It was just us against the car.”

They have outwitted the 49 teams from different schools across the US. The California boys were given $2,500 general education scholarships apiece from Ford and AAA. They were allowed to choose from any technical colleges with their full scholarship. The boys have gone through hard work and practice before they achieved the ultimate prize. They were assisted by Daniel Lehmkuhl’s father, Jeff Lehmkuhl. The trophy will be handed over to the San Luis Obispo High School.

"Daniel and Austin proved they are America's most auto-savvy teens," said Allan Stanley, the manager of Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills. "Their hard work and drive to be the top high school auto technicians is typical of all of the participants in the competition. The auto industry must attract such dedicated young people to keep America's vehicles operating safely and trouble-free."

"The additional training these young contestants will receive in technical colleges can open many doors for them at Ford and in our dealer network, paving the way to lucrative automotive careers," said Frank Ligon, the director, Service Engineering Operations, Ford Customer Service Division.

"This is a great time to embark on an automotive service career," Ligon added, explaining that the already high demand for skilled workers will grow as the number of vehicles continues to rise, more alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles requiring new skills enter the marketplace, and older auto tech workers retire.

The Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills competition covered the requirement for diagnostic and problem-solving skills, electronics awareness, mathematics and mechanical ability to understand how to repair progressively more technology-driven vehicles.

"These competitors represent America's best and brightest automotive students," said John Nielsen, the director of the AAA Approved Auto Repair program. "All will showcase their talents in Dearborn, then, we hope, go onto further training to prepare for the important job of keeping America's cars on the road and in good repair."

Here are the runner-ups of the Student Auto Skills Challenge:

  • 2nd Place - Michigan, Alex Dobroy and Zachary Hastings. Instructor: Tim Timoszyk. Saline High School, Saline.
  • 3rd Place - Colorado, Eric Hess and Christopher Wu. Instructor: Brad Wheaton. Doherty High School, Colorado Springs.
  • 4th Place - North Carolina. Evan Martin and Kyle Wishlinski. Instructor: Martin Page. Lake Norman High School, Mooresville.
  • 5th Place - Virginia. Douglas Dunn and Gaetano Guiffre. Instructor: Scott Freeman. Fauquier High School, Warrenton.
posted by Car Addict @ 12:12 AM  
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