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Australia’s top workshop duo take on world’s best in Japan


Isuzu Australia’s top technicians Brad Hickey, of Double R Trucks in Tamworth, and Louis Holt, from Bendigo Izuzu, will fly the flag for Team Australia at one of the world’s most prestigious workshop showdowns in Japan on November 1.

Almost 40 international teams will gather at Isuzu Motors Ltd HQ for the Isuzu World Technical Competition, better known as the I-I Grand Prix (GP), to battle it out for the Golden Spanner in front of a live audience for the first time since 2019, due to Covid.

Hickey and Holt, who were chosen from a national competition, will join the other two-person teams for a five-day build-up in Japan, and will also get the chance to take in the Japan Mobility Show – formerly known as the Tokyo Motor Show – the day after the event.

“We have a very strong team attending this year, who will be sure to do us proud representing IAL and the dealer network,” said IAL national training manager, David Smith.

“Brad and Louis represented us last year, although under very different circumstances, and their veteran experience will be invaluable in this situation.”

The crowd in attendance at this year’s Japanese final is expected to be 900-strong comprised of Isuzu VIPs, technician teams, coaches and industry media.

“Competing in front of the company brass as well as many of your most talented peers from around the world can be nerve wracking… we have seen some of the best technicians in the industry crumble under the pressure of the moment,” Smith added.

“We’re all proud of Brad and Louis and the hours of hard work they’ve put into this—everyone is excited that they finally get to show what they can do on the big stage.”

Hickey and Holt have spent no stone unturned in their preparation for the big event, with three weeks build-up at the state-of-the-art IAL head office facility and workshop in Truganina, Melbourne.

Here they entered an intense task-focused academy, bringing impressive skills to a world-class level by training one-on-one with coach Jeff Berry (IAL Technical and Fleet Manager for New South Wales) and coach-incumbent for the 2024 I-1 GP and Daniel Gorfine (IAL Service Technical Manager for Victoria/Tasmania).

“Technicians don’t always get the recognition they deserve, they’re out in the workshop all day and not in the limelight,” Berry said.

“Their friends and colleagues know who they are and what they’re capable of, but the I-1 GP can help give them that push to become superstars in their field.”

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