There was a real international flavour this year, with one young competitor from Auckland New Zealand, Ross Mulder, supported by his PPG representative from New Zealand, Mike Gallagher.
Taechoon Park from South Korea, who is employed at Exclusive Auto Centre in Brisbane, also competed.
In total, there were eight competitors and they were accompanied by either their TAFE teachers, PPG representative or, in the case of Taechoon, his employer, Nick Contarino.
The day commenced with a briefing for all competitors on the rules and regulations of the competition and on the workplace safety regulations of the facility. Competitors were then advised on the two colour matches they were to perform. The first was a green solid colour and the second a brown metallic. They were allowed 60 minutes on each colour match with a short break in between.
All the competitors concentrated on the tasks at hand and at the end of the day the judges had to make the decision on the top three competitors. From all accounts, the final results were very close but in the end the winners were announced at an awards dinner in the evening.
Competitors were also taken to the local Go Kart track after the competition with special guests DJR Team Penske V8 Supercar drivers Fabian Coulthard and Scott McLaughlin. The drivers provided a driving lesson for the competitors before they all took to the track for a fun-filled afternoon before the awards dinner.
At the awards dinner, special guest John Crennan of Penske Racing made a speech and shared his extensive background in the industry and congratulated all the competitors on making the colour matching finals. Of course, in any competition there must be a winner and runners up, which were:
- First Place: Dylan Branchi from Western Australia
- Second Place: Ross Mulder from New Zealand
- Third Place: James Pelczer from South Australia
The other finalists were:
- Gregorio LaFerlita, Victoria
- Andrew Lange, Tasmania
- Daniel Do, ACT
- Taechoon Park, Queensland
- Dean Huby, Northern Territory
Congratulations to PPG for once again providing young people in our industry the opportunity to compete in a competition that they can proudly add to their resume.
Nick Contarino from Exclusive Auto Centre summed up the day as follows: “The PPG representatives were great, the facility excellent and the trainers and judges were very fair and transparent. The dinner and awards presentation were also very well done.”