During the final competition of the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge 2017 National Championship, eight teams from across the country battled for the best time at the Elite Eight playoffs hosted at the PRI Show Dec. 8-9.
In the end, Team Fel-Pro of Tulsa Technology Center in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, came out on top with the average time of 17:06. It was a tough and close battle, with only 3 seconds separating the first and second place teams of the Elite Eight, and just 17 seconds separating first and third place.
“I was extremely shocked! I thought we may have placed third until they announced the third place team,” said Team Fel-Pro instructor Greg Gilliam. “The Team and I knew we got second place at that point and were very excited about second, then they called the second place team and it wasn’t us, my jaw hit the floor. I was speechless.”
“I am extremely proud of my team and their hard work and determination to practice on their own time after school and work,” Gilliam added. “It feels good to know that my dedication to the students paid off for them. We are proud to represent Oklahoma and our school Tulsa Technology Center. Hard work and dedication reap rewards.”
The Elite Eight Competition
A total of 45 teams competed at the SEMA and PRI shows just to get into the Elite Eight competition, with the top four SEMA show seeds competing against the top four PRI show seeds.
The top four teams that competed at the PRI Show were:
- First Place: Team Meziere from Burton Center for Arts & Tech in Salem, Virginia, with the best average of 17:51.
- Second Place: Team QA1, from Forsyth Central High School from Cumming, Georgia, came in second place with an average of 18:29.
- Third Place: Team Derale from Forsyth Central High School in Cumming, Georgia, came in third place with an average of 20:25.
- Fourth Place: Team K&N, from Burton Center for Arts & Tech in Salem, Virginia, who came in fourth place with an average of 20:59.
The top four teams from the SEMA Show were:
- First Place: Team Howards Cams, from Lakeshore High School in Stevensville, Michigan, with an average time of 19:07.
- Second Place: Team Fragola Performance Systems, Fremd High School in Palatine, Illinois, came in second place with an average time of 20:56.
- Third Place: Team Aeromotive, Eastern Oklahoma Technology Center out of Choctaw, Oklahoma, took third place with an average time of 21:52.
- Fourth Place: Team Fel-Pro, Tulsa Technology Center from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, came in fourth place with an average time of 23:08.
According to Hot Rodders of Tomorrow, the times are based on three important parts. First, it is the average of the three times the teams competed. Then, there are penalty minutes added for mistakes made during disassembly and reassembly. Lastly, there is a 50-question written test on parts and tools identification along with general engine and rules knowledge.
“Federal-Mogul Motorparts and the Fel-Pro brand have been honored to support this important program since its inception,” said Ann Skrycki-Mohler from Federal-Mogul. “We are proud not only of Team Fel-Pro, but of every participant from each of this year’s teams. Their exceptional skill and shared commitment to quality and performance point to a very bright future for the engine building industry.”
Each student earned scholarship opportunities ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 from Ohio Technical College, School of Automotive Machinists & Technology, and Universal Technical Institute.
For more information about the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow, visit hotroddersoftomorrow.com.