North York students Kevin Birchall and Eric Salb from Northview Heights Secondary School placed second in the 2009 National Automotive Technology Competition at the New York International Auto Show – the lone Canadian team out of 29 schools invited to compete.
The pair beat out some of the top high-school automotive students in the U.S. to bring home thousands of dollars worth of sponsors’ tools and scholarships, as well as equipment for their own school. It was a closely fought competition, only 20 points separated the Canadian team from the overall winners, out of a possible total score of 1,300 points.
Competitors were required to diagnose various problems with a 2009 Mazda6 in a timed event. To prepare for the contest, the Northview Heights team received technical training on a 2009 Mazda6 courtesy of Scarboro Mazda, with the guidance of Centennial College professors and Paul Girard, Scarboro’s Mazda Master Technician. Mazda Canada supplied an additional vehicle for training purposes.
Birchall and Salb had placed first in the skills competition hosted by the Canadian International Auto Show in February, having performed a number of timed technical tasks on a 2009 Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible. Last year, Janos Mann and Julien Predas, a pair of students from Toronto’s Central Technical School, had won first place in the American competition and took home $250,000 in prizes.
The Canadian team’s preparation and adventure in New York was documented by Discovery Channel. The students’ all-expenses-paid trip was provided by the Toronto Automobile Dealers Association.
For further information contact Mark Toljagic, communications officer,