23 Teams to Compete in Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Semi-Finals at the SEMA Show

By SEMA Editors

Sponsored by Aeroquip, Rancho Alamitos High School of Garden Grove, California, qualified to compete in the Engine Challenge National Championship, clocking in an average time of 25:21.

The Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge has put 12 events in the books for 2015. Throughout these events, held from Florida to California, 40 teams have qualified to compete for the Engine Challenge National Championship. In order to qualify, these teams, comprised solely of high-school students, must complete a performance engine rebuild in less than 35 minutes. Twenty-three of the 40 qualifying teams will compete in the first round of semi-final competition, held at the 2015 SEMA Show, November 3–6. A second round of semi-final competition will be held at the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Show, December 10–12, with the remaining teams competing there.

In 2014, Hot Rodders of Tomorrow converted to a Dual Championship format where the top two SEMA teams faced the top two PRI teams in an epic showdown. With the success of this new format, Hot Rodders has expanded the amount of teams from four to eight in 2015.

Rancho Alamitos High School of Garden Grove, California, qualified with Team Aeroquip, clocking in at 25:21, and Team Scorpion Racing with a time of 26:04. Rancho Alamitos Coach David Le is thrilled to be a part of the Engine Challenge Dual Championship. He sees first-hand the benefits that the Engine Challenge provides.

“Not only is the Engine Challenge beneficial to our students, it is also beneficial to our city and the future automotive program,” Le explained. “Until we started competing, automotive wasn’t a sought-after class. We’ve only focused on kids graduating and passing their classes, not figuring out that what keeps these kids in school are these [extracurricular] classes. On top of that, these kids have the amazing opportunity to travel across the country to compete and meet students from other schools and states. It opens up their world. Some of these kids’ parents never went to college and they’re stuck making minimum wage, and that’s all these kids ever see. The Hot Rodders of Tomorrow program opens new doors to them. It really gives value to our schools.”

A total of $3.8 million in scholarship opportunities will be available to the teams competing in the Dual Championship. The University of Northwestern Ohio, Ohio Technical College and the School of Automotive Machinists are all returning college sponsors.

SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting supports the efforts of Hot Rodders of Tomorrow and feels the Engine Challenge provides value to the industry as a whole.

“Hot Rodders of Tomorrow demonstrates that even in the age of video games and non-stop phone messaging, if you give young people a shot at hands-on action in the automotive realm, they will jump at the opportunity,” he said. “SEMA is pleased to be able to support this great program that provides lessons in auto mechanics and teamwork while helping kids with their education and career options.”

“We are excited to have so many teams qualified for the 2015 Dual Championship,” added Rodney Bingham of Hot Rodders of Tomorrow. “We are truly blessed to be able to help so many students get scholarships for them to change their lives!”

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