Not many people have the ability to dismantle and rebuild an engine in less than 25 minutes. A group of local teens, however, recently took its skills to a national competition and scored high enough to compete at another event.
Thomas County Central High School PREP Academy’s engine-building team was one of 12 teams in the nation to qualify for the 2012 Showdown at SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) in Las Vegas.
The event was held Oct. 28-Nov. 3 and the TCCHS team ranked ninth overall in the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge.
Also, the team scored high enough in its final build — 24:05 — to qualify for the Performance Race Industry Show championship in Orlando, Fla., this weekend.
“I feel like the team did pretty good, being as we are a first-year team,” member Tyler Boyette, 18, said. “We got qualified to go to SEMA. That is a big accomplishment right there.”
Brice Evans, 17, joined the team because it seemed “like a great learning experience” and he knew the goal was to compete on a national level.
“I never thought we’d make it that far starting off and, when it turned into reality, it just gave me a sense of pride, knowing we’d all worked together and made it that far,” Evans said.