Monday, May. 5
A team of two Fauquier High School Auto Tech students placed second at the state-level Ford AAA Student Auto Skills competition in Richmond on May 3.
Liberty High School senior Blake Lerner and Kettle Run High School junior Kyle Pinelli qualified for the competition about a month ago after a scoring high on a written test. The competition entailed the student teams competing head to head on identically "bugged" Ford Fiestas. The teams worked to find all of the bugs and crossing the finish line with a "clean" car first.
Pinelli and Lerner worked with their Auto Tech teacher, Scott Freeman, for many hours after school in order to prepare for the competition.
“We came in after school a lot and worked with Mr. Freeman,” said Pinelli. “He would put bugs in cars and we had to figure out the problem and fix it. We took a lot of tests and it was a lot of studying.”
Lerner and Pinelli both won $14,000 in scholarships to the Universal Technical Institute and additional scholarships to the University of Northwestern Ohio.
Pinelli also recently won first place and a $10,000 scholarship to UTI at a state level SkillsUSA Motorcycle Service competition. He will go onto the national competition in Kansas in June.
Lerner will attend the UTI South Carolina campus this fall. Pinelli is considering matriculating with the class of 2016 of UTI at their Florida campus.
Kyle Pinelli (left) and Blake Lerner (right) work to "de-bug" a Ford Fiesta for the Ford AAA Student Auto Skills competition in Richmond.
Photo by Joan Pinelli