Cathy Rossi and tech GP winner Luke Pakkala in the "Customer Delivery Lab" portion of the competition Cathy Rossi and tech GP winner Luke Pakkala in the "Customer Delivery Lab" portion of the competition

Yamaha Motor Canada announces winner of Canada Grand Prix technician's competition

Written by  Colleen McCourt on Friday, 24 June 2016 12:55

Ten of Canada’s best technicians converged on Yamaha Motor Canada Ltd.’s headquarters on June 14, 2016 for the seventh Canada Grand Prix contest. This bi-annual competition is open to all Yamaha Technical Academy (YTA) technicians that are certified Bronze and above.

The contest is organized as part of the Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd. global service education plan to promote under the theme “One to One Service” which aims to promote creating good relationships with each and every customer. The goal is to help increase customer satisfaction by improving the skills of Yamaha service personnel and build a stronger consciousness of the global Yamaha group. The contest was created to recognize and reward technicians for their YTA product knowledge and service expertise. The Canadian champion will be awarded an all-expense paid trip to Japan this October where he/she will compete in the 2016 World Technician Grand Prix.

Yamaha Canada’s top ten finalists are:

Jimmy Subrabbi, Gregoire Sports Notre Dame de Lourdes, Quebec – 18 years as a motorsport technician

Luke Pakkala, Oakville Yamaha, Oakville, Ontario – Head Technician- 12 years in the field

Allen Graves, Robertson Motorsports, Swift Current Saskatchewan, Technician- 20 years in the industry

Gregory Zeniuk, Riverside Motorsports, St-Albert, Alberta, Service Writer/Warranty Adminstrator-15 years in the industry

Brett Hart, Blackfoot Motorsports, Calgary Alberta, Head Technician, -11 years motorcycle technician

Adam Gregory, Cycle Works Foothills, Okotoks, Alberta, Head Technician – 29 years motorcycle technician

Marcus Delgiusto, Holeshot Motorsports, Langley BC, Motorsport Technician – 8 years in the industry

George Payne, Holeshot Motorsports, Langley BC, Motorsports Technician – 13 years in the industry

Scott Szollos, Snow City Cycle Marine, Scarborough Ontario – Lead Motorcycle Technician 25 years in the field

Mark Underwood, Snow City Cycle Marine, Scarborough Ontario, Marine & Motorcycle Technician, 30 years in the industry

In the history of the Canada Grand Prix skills competition there has never been two technicians who are finalists from the same dealership. Not only did this happen this year, it happened twice. Many of the finalists are returning for their second attempt at the illustrious title and a notable mention to George Zeniuk who returned for his third time.

The grueling eight hour competition consisted of 10 expertly devised labs which truly test the knowledge of each of the finalists, often pushing them outside their comfort zone. The labs were judged on total points gained from testing the technician’s skills in four areas; a written exam on the history of Yamaha, motorcycle engineering, Yamaha products and market situations, practical technical skills tests, including use of Yamaha’s YDT and PC skills, measurement tests and a consumer reception/relations skills test. This last lab often proves to be the most challenging as technicians generally do not have direct interaction with the consumer. Luke Pakkala was the winner of the Customer Delivery lab award.

Nick King, the 2014 Canada Grand Prix skills winner was an honorary judge and he brought back something special from the World competition. The Spoked Wheel Lab, which was described by all of the finalists as being the toughest challenge. Marcus Delgiusto, Motorsport Technician from Holesport Motorsports in Langley BC was the only competitor to complete the challenge in the allotted time of 30 minutes.

It was exciting to watch each competitor mentally evaluate each lab upon completion, analyzing their strategy and hoping it was successful. Often the devil was in the detail.

It was not all work and no play for the finalists. Their trip to Canada’s largest city consisted of taking their frustrations out on a go-kart track. They were also treated to a tour of Ripley’s Aquarium, lunch atop the CN Tower and a scenic Toronto Harbour boat cruise before arriving at the School House restaurant to hear which of them would represent Canada in October.

The room was full of excitement and anticipation. The conversations were lively but it did not distract the 10 finalists from the ultimate prize. Announced as follows, the third place winner; Marcus Delgiusto, Holeshot Motorsports, Langley BC. Second place was awarded to George Payne, also from Holeshot Motorsports, Langley BC. George also won the 2016 Rookie Award.

The 2016 Canadian Technician GP Champion taking the top prize is Luke Pakkala from Oakville Yamaha, Oakville, Ontario. The Pakkala family has a long standing relationship with Yamaha Canada as Luke’s late mother worked at head office and introduced Luke to his future career choice.

Luke will receive extensive ‘hands-on’ preparation for competing in the World Technician Grand Prix in Japan (October 2016). The Japan World Grand Prix contest will consist of an all-expense paid trip, sightseeing, factory tour, contest day and many other special events. The prizes are not only for the Canadian Technician GP Champion though. In addition to the above, the owner of Oakville Yamaha will also be awarded an all-expense paid trip to accompany their technician to the World Grand Prix contest in Japan.

Yamaha Motor Canada Ltd. is one of the GTA’s top 50 employers.

- By Colleen McCourt

 Strategy Plus Communications

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