Ingersol, Gillbanks Test Auto Tech Talents

Marko Durovic, Staff Writer

Seniors Chase Ingersol and Weston Gillbanks qualified for the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition, which will be held at the Blackhawk Auto Museum on May 3.

The competition consists of 2 person teams of 11th and 12th grade automotive technology students from schools all over the country. Everyone who registers for the competition gets the opportunity to demonstrate their automotive knowledge and qualify for prizes by taking a written exam. The 10 teams that score the highest participate in a “hands-on” competition within their state.

“All of my students did the test, and Weston and Chase were able to qualify for the state tournament,” said Auto Tech instructor Steve Boone. This test is available to all the schools in the country that offer autoshop as an ROP class. “We took the test and we scored in the top 10 in all of North California,” said Ingersol.

“Basically, they give us a car that doesn’t start, a toolbox and an assistant, and we have to find out what the problem is and fix it, ” said Gillbanks. There are two categories that are looked at by the judges. “They judge you on speed and completion, and the best team moves on to the nationals,” Ingersol said.

The national finals include both a written test and a hands-on competition, but with a different Ford vehicle. The team with the best combined total score of repair time and written exam scores will be the winner. Students have a chance to win scholarships, trophies, trips, and automotive equipment.