In a stunning outcome, Team U.S.A. took first, second and third place at the 2017 International Technicians Challenge in Poland. The American team was sponsored by SSF Imported Auto Parts, which tested automotive technicians from across the nation to assemble three finalists who made the U.S. team.
Bernard Tripp, from Troutman, North Carolina, took home the grand prize of 5,000 Euros (approximately $5,900 USD) and the right to call himself “Best Tech,” winning top honors at the International Challenge.
Enrico Manuele, president of Bosch Automotive Aftermarket NA and honorary captain of Team U.S.A, congratulated Bernard, and the entire American team for its first-, second- and third-place finishes among five participating countries. “Our team of James Koppenhaver of Portola Valley, California; Bryan Warman of Jeffersonville, Indiana; and of course, Bernard, made us in the U.S. aftermarket proud with an extraordinary finish, besting Europe’s top techs.”
Automotive Technician Teams from America, Poland, Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia competed at the AP Expert International Technicians Challenge held on Sept. 15 and 16. Competitors were chosen after testing their skills in a series of timed, online exams. In all, more than 2,000 technicians across two continents tested to qualify to be one of 15 finalists who competed for the championship. The International Challenge judged finalists on a variety of written tests and practical hands-on expertise.
The challenge, held on Sept. 16, was the highlight of the AP Expert automotive sports festival, an annual event hosted by Auto Partners. Auto Partners is a leading Polish-based WD and member of the Global One Alliance together with SSF and WM Group. The tournament showcases the skill sets required to be a top technician in today’s highly advanced automotive repair industry. This year, AP Expert surpassed all attendance records as visitors enjoyed all of the festivities at Autodrom Słomczyn track near Warsaw. This also was the first year for the international competition category.
Dean Thebeau, SSF’s vice president of sales and marketing, is already looking forward to next year. “We are absolutely thrilled that our team came out on top of this challenge,” said Thebeau. “We can’t wait to compete again next year!”