One Winkler team qualifies for national auto competition

Garden Valley Collegiate
Winkler, Manitoba

By Curt Dueck (Grade 12)

A pair of automotive students from Garden Valley Collegiate have won the chance to represent Manitoba in a national competition in Toronto in June.

Three teams from GVC traveled to Winnipeg on May 23 to compete against seven other teams of Manitoba's top automotive students in the CAA/Ford Student Auto Skills provincial championship.

In this competition, each two-member team was given an identically "bugged" 1998 Ford Taurus, and had ninety minutes to fix it. The GVC students who qualified and competed in the competition in Winnipeg were Will Hildebrand and Pete Hamm, John Froese and Curt Dueck, and Mike Penner and Jason Dreidger.

Dueck and Froese placed second in the competition, which entitles them to compete in the national championship, to be held in Toronto on June 13. Hamm and Hildebrand placed fifth in the competition.

Preparations started about a month ago when each participating school in Manitoba submitted one team, consisting of up to eight students per full-time automotive instructor. These teams were then required to write a journeyman-style test, where students have to answer questions on four major car systems.

These tests were graded and the ten teams with top marks in the province were chosen. The two students with the highest marks on their eight-person teams were chosen to participate in the semi-final competition.

GVC has been very successful in qualifying for past provincial competitions. Although its teams have not yet taken first place, the school has never failed to qualify at least one team, and twice, the school has been able to qualify three teams. That means that about that a third of the competing Manitoba teams are from GVC.

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