Canadian students finish second in U.S. automotive skills competition

    TORONTO, April 16 /CNW/ - 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 AutoShow 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:

For further information: Media contact: Mark Toljagic, Communications
Officer, Centennial College, (416) 289-5000, ext. 7142,

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