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Taking place in its new-look virtual format, the Isuzu World Technical Competition, otherwise known as the I-1 Grand Prix, was held last week on 09 December 2021.

Isuzu Motor’s annual international ‘friendly’ competition attracts the cream of Isuzu’s technical talent from around the world, who battle it out for the top spot in several rounds of technical knowledge, theory and practical diagnostic exams.

Competing against over 40 international teams, the team secured a strong placing in the I-1 GP but unfortunately missed out on a podium finish this year.

Team effort

Australia’s top two technicians hailed from the fertile fields of Queensland, with young gun Harrison Minnis (Brisbane Isuzu Eagle Farm) and Leading Hand Jason Peterkin, (Tony Ireland Isuzu, Townsville) combining to make the 2021 Isuzu Australia Limited (IAL) team.

In past years, each team had the opportunity to physically represent their dealership and country at the I-1 GP event traditionally held at Isuzu Motor’s facility in Japan.

Due to COVID-19, this year, technicians competed in both ‘individual’ and ‘team’ events from their home country virtually, under the watertight rules of the new e-Competition.

Each team were up against a series of Interactive Virtual Online Diagnostics (IVOD) tests, time challenges and theoretical exams which challenged their service-related skills—diagnosis, repair, assembly, systems management, and inspection and problem-solving.

From left, Jason Peterkin and Harrison Minnis

In preparation for the competition, Mr Minnis and Mr Peterkin underwent a strenuous three-week training course under the supervision of experienced IAL Technical and Fleet Service Manager for NSW, Jeff Berry.

Mr Peterkin, who has competed previously in the I-1 GP (placing team fourth in the 2018 competition), commented on the calibre of competition this year.

“The tests are getting harder, and this year’s was definitely daunting being fully virtual, but it came out to be a well-polished event.

“The level of experience and competition is always very, very high.”

Isuzu’s promise

By nurturing a competitive, yet friendly environment with events such as the annual I-1 GP and National Technical Skills Competition (NTSC), Isuzu inspires its nation-wide dealer network to train more experienced technicians—ultimately leading to better outcomes for Isuzu Trucks customers.

“So much hard work and training goes into preparing our technicians for both Isuzu’s NTSC and the I-1 GP,” commented IAL National Service Technical Manager, Brenton Cook.

“One bonus of this preparation is that our technicians improve their problem-solving skills, practice working under pressure and think outside the box when it comes to diagnosis and repair.

“This can only result in benefits down the line for Isuzu customers, reducing truck downtime and ensuring they receive the best possible service from our dealerships.

“To Harry and Jason, we’d like to extend our congratulations on a fantastic effort,” Mr Cook continued.

“I’d like to encourage every Isuzu technician to get out there and have a go in 2022. As the team has proven this year, you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain!”