Teams of high school students will be showing off their abilities to tear down and rebuild engines on April 26 at Atlanta Motor Speedway during the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow competition at the Summit Racing Equipment Atlanta Motorama presented by Classic Collectors Insurance and zMAX.
Hot Rodders of Tomorrow teams consist of five team members in addition to an alternate. Each group of individuals is charged with the task of tearing down small-block engines all the way down to the crank and camshafts and rebuilding them in a fast and accurate fashion.
The Georgia Street Rod Association will coordinate the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow exhibition competition that will take place on April 26 with matchups scheduled for 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
The targeted time for teams to completely tear down and rebuild an engine is less than 20 minutes, according to Marlo Miranda, who serves as the coach for Forysth Central High School, one of the schools competing at Motorama,.
"It is electrifying because when you see it for the first time, you are pretty much in shock how quickly they can tear it down and put it together," Miranda said. "When you first see it, you are in shock."
The schools at Motorama will be among the nation's best. Forsyth Central ranked ninth at the most recent national competition with two other teams, Peach County and Thomas County Central, ranked among the top five.
Both Forsyth Central and Thomas County Central are scheduled to have two teams participating at Motorama, with one of TCC's teams being comprised of all females. Other high schools competing are Dodge County and South Paulding in addition to East Ridge High School from Tennessee.
"These kids work from 7 to 8:30 in morning before school, and then they change and go to class then come back after school for a few hours," Miranda said. "On the week of a major contest, I have to throw them out at 10 or 11 o'clock. They don't complain about having to put in time, and you usually don't see that much from teenagers today."
Each team delegates duties among each other during each engine tear down and rebuild. One person is assigned to handle the organizing of the table containing all of the tools used on the engines with the other four handling specific areas of the engine.
Although completing the work in a timely fashion is critical, accuracy during the engine rebuild also plays a major role. The engines not only have to be rebuilt, but also have to be in a condition of being able to be started when finished.
"It's really important to be accurate, as well as getting done with a lot of speed," Miranda said.
Motorama spectator admission is $12 per day. Kids ages 6 through 11 will be admitted for $5, with kids 5 and under being admitted free. The show runs Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For additional event information, visit www.atlantamotorama.com or contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.