Students Place Tops in Auto Competition

On Saturday, Jan. 23, 12 Orange County high school students and their instructors competed in the 17th Annual Automotive Technology Competition and are now heading to their own version of the "Superbowl."

The event, organized and sponsored by the Orange County Automobile Dealers Association, was held at Hyundai Motor America’s National Technical Training Center.

All participating teams will share $80,000 in scholarships provided by OCADA, California New Car Dealers Association, Ohio Technical College, and Universal Technical Institute.

North Orange County ROP at Loara High School won the competition for the third consecutive year with seniors Ben Hicks and Jonathan Greenhalgh representing their school.

Sponsored by Toyota of Orange and backed by automotive instructor Russ Bacarella and a rigorous technical training program, the winning students earned the opportunity to compete at the National Automotive Technology Competition in New York City in April.

Another local team, Savanna High School ROP, placed fifth in the competition. The sponsor was Guaranty Chevrolet, students were Ryan McLaughlin and Justin Ames, and the instructor was Mike Russell.

The goal of the OCADA Automotive Technology Competition is to recognize these students’ technical skills and to introduce them to possibilities available with a career in automotive technology.

Information: 949-428-5050 or


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