California Auto Tech Champions From San Luis Obispo High Rev Up to Capture 2007 Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills National Finals

Automotive

Team Seeks Its Share of $6 Million in Scholarships and Prizes in Dearborn, MI

Who: San Luis Obispo students, Daniel Lehmkuhl, 17, and Austin Castro, 17, from San Luis Obispo High School in San Luis Obispo qualified in May at Irwindale Speedway as California?s state champion. The team, coached by San Luis Obispo High Industrial Tech Instructor Jeff Lehmkuhl, also Daniel?s father, will face 49 other teams at the 2007 Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills National Finals. The Auto Club?s Motor Sports Manager Rick Lalor will accompany the team to the competition in Dearborn, MI.

When:Starting gun for hands-on competition 9:15 a.m. Tuesday, June 26. "Instructed to start your engines, if you can," 100 students clad in red and black "pit crew" uniforms will run to their assigned identically and intentionally "bugged" 2007 Ford Fusions in a quest to achieve the perfectly repaired car. Each team won a berth in the finals with the combined best scores on comprehensive qualifying exams and hands-on competition in their respective states.

The fastest time to detect and repair the car, then drive across the finish line, plus the best written score determines the 2007 national champions.

Where: Ford World Headquarters, Dearborn, MI; One American Road, Michigan Avenue and Southfield Freeway?Front Lawn.

Note: Producers and Editors: Photos and b-roll footage available upon request

Why: As vehicles become more advanced, Ford and AAA have partnered to assure that the new generation of automotive technicians is well educated to service the public?s motoring needs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the auto industry will have an average of 34,000 job openings per year through 2014, based on growth and net replacement needs. The competition?s goal is to encourage students to continue their education and to pursue careers in the automotive service industry.

To speak to contest officials or for more information, please contact: Kristine Heine or Jennifer Heuer at (202) 371-9600.

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