Isuzu Commercial Truck of America (ICTA) announced recently its U.S. team of service technicians placed second in the 18th Annual Isuzu World Technical Competition, also known as the I-1 Grand Prix.
This marked the fourth year that Team USA won the silver medal in the prestigious event, a grueling, multi-stage competition requiring outstanding performance on written examinations and in hands-on tests of vehicle diagnosis and repair skills. Prior to 2017, no U.S. team had made the top three in the championship’s history.
The event was held on Nov. 1, by Isuzu Motors Limited in Yokohama, Japan. ICTA says 33 countries from six continents competed. Japan took the gold medal, while the team from New Zealand earned third place.
The ICTA team consisted of two of the top three technicians from the 2023 Isuzu North America I-1 Grand Prix, selected in August:
- Anthony (AJ) Parrilli of Rush Truck Center—Elk Grove in Elk Grove Village, Ill.
- Sebastian Fitzgerald of MHC Isuzu Truck—Raleigh in Raleigh, N.C.
- Candido DeLeon of Rush Isuzu Trucks—Dayton in Dayton, Ohio
During three weeks of intense training leading up to the global contest, Isuzu says Parrilli and Fitzgerald won the right to comprise Team USA. DeLeon attended as an observer and as an alternate in the event Parrilli or Fitzgerald had been unable to compete.
In addition to their second-place team finish, Fitzgerald placed sixth and Parrilli placed tenth in the individual competition.
The team was coached by Justin Ridings, ICTA technical training manager. This was the third time Ridings led a team that placed in the top three globally. The competition rules state that a coach may achieve a podium finish of third place or higher a maximum of three times in a lifetime.
According to Micah Embry, executive director of Centers of Excellence operations for ICTA, “This means Justin is now retired from the competition as coach since he succeeded in attaining a top three finish in all three attempts in which he participated. Quite impressive!”
“We couldn’t be prouder of our team,” adds Shaun Skinner, president of Isuzu Commercial Truck of America. “AJ’s and Sebastian’s diagnostic and repair skills represented ICTA beautifully and once again proved that Isuzu service technicians in the United States are among the very best in the world.”
Skinner, Embry and Ridings also attributed the team’s success to ICTA’s investment in state-of-the-art Center of Excellence training facilities in Pittston, Pa., and Anaheim, Calif.
“As I’ve said before, our training programs, our Centers of Excellence, and events like this improve the skills of all Isuzu service technicians,” he says. “They help us reach our objective — to provide world-class service to every Isuzu customer.”