AVON LAKE, Ohio (Feb. 4, 2013) — Design Engineering Inc. (DEI), a manufacturer and supplier of high-performance automotive aftermarket products, is sponsoring the 2013 Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge, a scholarship program for high school automotive shop teams.
The program, first created in 2008, is meant to encourage high school students to take an interest in the automotive performance aftermarket through a series of competitions that allow them to showcase their skills in breaking down and reassembling a small block Chevrolet engine.
Initially, the engine challenge was created by Jim Bingham, owner of Winner's Circle Speed and Custom Inc., as a special event for the company's Race & Performance Expo. Only five teams competed in the first year, but it since has grown into a national competition with more than 600 participants, seven events and 150 sponsors, DEI said.
With financial support from DEI and other performance market manufacturers, educational institutions and industry associations, more than $6 million has been raised through the program for student scholarships from the Ohio Technical College, the School of Automotive Machinists and the University of Northwestern Ohio. Students who place first through fifth in the national competition receive scholarships valued at $10,000, $9,000, $8,000, $7,000 and $6,000, respectively.
"We appreciate DEI's commitment to this event," said Rodney Birgham, director, Hot Rodders of Tomorrow. "Our youth have incredible talent and represent the future of the performance aftermarket. This event has been a very rewarding experience cultivating the growth of this engine challenge and seeing the dedication of the teams year after year."
The first engine challenge event takes place Feb. 22 at the Race & Performance Expo at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Ill., and the competition culminates at the 26th annual Performance Racing Industry (PRI) show taking place in Indianapolis in December, DEI said. The top teams each year are showcased at the Specialty Equipment Market Association Show in Las Vegas, where the teams that will compete at the national event are determined.
A schedule of events and sign-up information for high school teams is at the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow website.