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High school automotive tech students get tested at the Toronto AutoShow

Picture of high school students holding their 2017 Canadian International AutoShow trophy

Pictured from left: Marc Balagot and Ashton Sawh from Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School in Scarborough, Canadian racecar driver Ron Fellows, and Hayden Bruce and Justin McCollow from Adam Scott Collegiate in Peterborough. Kneeling are first-place winners Ryan Gullage and Michael Lamanna from St. Brother Andre Catholic High School in Markham.

Automotive tech students from 19 Ontario high schools had their mechanical expertise and knowledge tested in a high-octane skills competition at the Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto on February 15.

The two-member student teams were given 120 minutes to diagnose and repair new Volkswagen Golf Sportwagens rigged with identical operating problems by Centennial College's automotive tech instructors. The teams also rotated between five workstations to test their analytical skills in electrical, steering, suspension and brakes, engine measurement and waveform analysis.

Two automotive technician students from St. Brother Andre Catholic High School in Markham, Ontario, prevailed to take first place and the big trophy. Ryan Gullage and Michael Lamanna performed a number of timed technical tasks and scored the most points for their skills and knowledge.

By finishing first, the pair will be representing Canada at the National Automotive Technology Competition in New York City in April. In addition to the all-expenses-paid trip, Gullage and Lamanna received tools and equipment from sponsors.

Scarborough's Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School finished second, thanks to the efforts of students Marc Balagot and Ashton Sawh. Hayden Bruce and Justin McCollow from Adam Scott Collegiate and Vocational Institute in Peterborough earned third place. The automotive labs of all three winning schools will receive a vehicle from General Motors Canada for training purposes.

Tech teacher Isaac Ozah of Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School earned the Gerd Reisenecker Memorial Teacher of the Year Award, named for the former Centennial College professor and TADA member.

This is the Eighteenth year Centennial College and the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association (TADA) have been running the competition at Toronto's auto show. Centennial College operates Canada's largest School of Transportation training centre at its Ashtonbee Campus.

Toronto students have been a formidable force in the New York competition: a team from Central Technical School beat all of the U.S. teams and collected prizes worth $250,000 in 2008, and a Northview Heights Secondary School team placed second in 2009.

The Toronto Automotive Technology Competition enjoys outstanding support from the industry. Sponsors include TADA, the Canadian International AutoShow, Volkswagen Canada and Toronto-area VW dealers, General Motors Canada, Snap-On Tools, Consulab, Canadian Tire, Prona Tools, Electude-Argo, Nelson Education, Pearson Education, TecMate, Humberview Group and Centennial College.