Isuzu has wrapped up its annual National Technical Skills Competition which 47 of its best automotive technicians battling it out for the chance to represent their Isuzu dealership and Australia  at Isuzu Motor’s I-1 Grand Prix.

Isuzu says the Top two technicians from the NTSC will now form Australia’s I-1 GP team, and they are now looking ahead to the challenge of an international I-1 Grand Prix e-Competition—which has been refreshed in a new virtual format due to COVID-19.

The I-1 GP finals have traditionally been held at Isuzu Motors head office in Japan, with each country’s qualifying team flying in with a coach to compete in both ‘individual’ and ‘team’ finals.

The company says that in essence, the competition remains the same, with individual and team events taking place. However, this year each technician will be competing virtually on home soil, with Australia’s team set to undertake the tough e-Competition in Brisbane this week.

The company said that the NTSC this year challenged technicians with a series of Interactive Virtual Online Diagnostic tests with results tallied up against a 60-minute written exam and each tech’s personal scores from their Isuzu Technicians Guild Questionnaires held earlier in 2021.

In Australia, the top two technicians were picked from a competitive field, with only a seven per cent difference in combined scores separating first and tenth place.

Harry Minnis, who only started his apprenticeship with Brisbane Isuzu Eagle Farm in 2016, fresh from high school, was this year’s Australian NTSC winner, scoring 100 per cent during the second virtual failure diagnosis test.

The other member of the top two Jason Peterkin, began his apprenticeship in 1995, working for his father in Darwin, before going on to complete a dual trade qualification specialising in diagnostics for both electrical and mechanical faults. He joined Tony Ireland Isuzu in 2012 as the leading hand at its Townsville workshop.

Isuzu says that with a combination of smarts and on-the-job experience, Jason is recognised as one of Australia’s best technicians when it comes to Isuzu’s 4JJ1 engine series.

This isn’t his first time for Peterkin in the I-1 GP circuit—he’s competed several times in the NTSC and took home an honourable team fourth place in the 2018 I-1 GP in Japan.

Jason scored the highest mark in this year’s NTSC Technical Knowledge exam, earning him his spot on the 2021 Australian team.

“The NTSC tests are definitely getting harder each year, and this year’s was daunting at first being fully virtual, but it’s come out to be a well-polished competition.

“The level of experience and competition is always very, very high… but I’m quietly confident of our chances this year,” Jason said.

“Going over to Japan in 2018 was an experience of a lifetime, being in the testing centre there and having all of Isuzu Motors watching you compete… I’m looking forward to getting out there again sometime in the future.”

Isuzu Australia Limited  national service technical manager, Brenton Cook, congratulated all entrants and the tyop two technicians for their achievements so far.

“As always, it’s fantastic to see the level of talent that comes out of events like this and the broader I-1 GP event program. We couldn’t be prouder of the results achieved this year and the technician’s commitment to being the best they can be.

“A hearty congratulations to all participating technicians, but to our Top two technicians Harry and Jason, well done and good luck in the final round,”  said Cook.