SEMA 2015: Hot Rodders Of Tomorrow

IMG_3767The annual Hot Rodders Of Tomorrow engine build competition is an event that brings automotive students from all over the country to compete for the fastest time. Originally starting eight years ago in 2008, 35 high schools students were the total entry field.

Leading up to the 2015 SEMA show, 153 teams comprised of 504 students competed for the top positions among their peers. 40 teams made it to Las Vegas, and the final champions will be named at PRI in Indianapolis.

IMG_3769The total payout in terms of awards for competitors totals $3.8 million in scholarship funding. Five judges hover around a team of students as they try to correctly assembly a V8 as fast as possible. The judges are inspecting for accuracy, and levying any penalties encountered. The competition can be fierce and positions determined by mere seconds.

In the case of this years competition, we caught up with Rodney Bingham for a recap pf the action. Bingham explained, “We ran full rounds of eight each day, that finished it up with seven rounds yesterday (Thursday) leading to each team running four times. They got to keep their three best times, we average those three times together.”

IMG_3770Four teams moved on according to Bingham, “The top team was Peach County High School from Georgia, they had a time average of 17 minutes and 20 seconds. They are now the number one seat going to the PRI show. Belvedere North from Rockford, Illinois ran an average time of 22 minutes 37 seconds, they are in second place moving on to PRI. Loara High School out of California, Team K&N, were 23 minutes and 52 seconds, Franklin County out of Pennsylvania ran a time of 24 minutes 9 seconds in forth place. So those four teams will move on and become our SEMA seeds for the dual-championship.” he said.

Programs like Hot Rodders of Tomorrow promote technical skills in an age where that sort of instruction is all but absent from high schools. We wish the competitors luck at PRI, and look forward to seeing what they move on to do with their skills

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About the author

Trevor Anderson

Trevor Anderson comes from an eclectic background of technical and creative disciplines. His first racing love can be found in the deserts of Baja California. In 2012 he won the SCORE Baja 1000 driving solo from Ensenada to La Paz in an aircooled VW. Trevor is engaged with hands-on skill sets such as fabrication and engine building, but also the theoretical discussion of design and technology. Trevor has a private pilot's license and is pursuing an MFA in fine art - specifically researching the aesthetics of machines, high performance materials and their social importance to enthusiast culture.
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