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5 from Central headed to automotive competition
Must tear down, then rebuild race engine
auto
Forsyth Central High School automotive technologies students, from left, JP Webb, Daniel Ryan, Jordan Schaller, Blake Hughes and Shahbaz Aslam will compete in the National Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Build Challenge this week in Indianapolis. - photo by For the FCN

Five Forsyth Central High School automotive technologies students will journey to Indianapolis this week to compete in a national engine competition.

The students will leave Monday to take part in the National Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Build Challenge, which involves tearing down and building a race engine with a five-man team.

Just four members are allowed on the engine at one time. The fifth man is in charge of organizing the parts during disassembly and giving the team special tools required for assembly.

The team — JP Webb, Daniel Ryan, Jordan Schaller, Blake Hughes and Shahbaz Aslam — qualified for the national event by placing third in the Southeast regional competition held in Tennessee in March.

Currently, the team is ranked 11thout of about 30 teams that will be competing.

Marlo Miranda, Central’s automotive instructor, said the team members have been “working very hard to improve their times.” 

“If you can imagine, a complete small block Chevy engine takes a certified technician approximately an hour and a half to tear down and several hours to build,” he said. “These boys can tear it down and rebuild it in 18 minutes on average.”

And just because they’re fast doesn’t mean they’re not accurate.

“Every fastener must be torqued to specification and in sequence,” Miranda said. “Each part must be installed properly and some parts must be installed before other parts can go in.”

This is Central’s first time competing at the event, in which students can receive thousands of dollars in scholarship funds.

Miranda said he’s excited to see how the team fairs at the national event, from which they will return Saturday.

“The boys have worked very hard improving their time from 30 minutes in qualifying to under 19 minutes on average today,” he said. “Last year’s national championship time was right at 19 minutes, so the boys should be right in the mix.”