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Spanners fly in Southland for Fastest Spanner contest


Automotive technicians from across Southland battled it out with technique, skill, teamwork and panache for the title of MTA Fastest Spanner 2014.

Ten two-man teams from the south of the South Island competed on Thursday night to be the fastest to pull an engine apart and then put it back together in working order. More than 300 spectators packed the Invercargill Workingmen's Club to watch the event, organised by the MTA Southland Branch.

The winning team, which consisted of Tristan Duffell from Prestige Commercial Vehicles, and Bruce Woodd from Macaulay Motors, dismantled, reassembled, and then started the 1.3 litre Toyota engine in just 12 minutes and five seconds.

The winning pair shaved 4 seconds off the previous record time of 12 minutes and 9 seconds, set last year by Duffell and colleague Allen Whitaker.

The engines, prepared specially for the event by Southland Institute of Technology, are commonly found in the ubiquitous Toyota Corolla – which all technicians had experience with. All proceeds raised from ticket sales went to the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

MTA Southland business advisor Michelle Findlater said the evening put the talent and technique of automotive technicians on centre stage, and was greatly enjoyed by the competitors and the spectators.

“The top spot is hotly contested – we've had teams returning for four years running, trying to take out the title,” she said.

“This is the fifth year we've held this. Every year, the number of spectators gets bigger, and the times get lower. Overall, it is a great night out for the industry, and really shows the skill level these technicians have.”

MTA Fastest Spanner 2014 results:

First place, 12mins and 5 seconds – Tristan Duffell from Prestige Commercial Vehicles, and Bruce Woodd from Macaulay Motors.

Second place, 12mins and 40 seconds – Callum Baird and Daniel Strang, from Southern Automobiles and Komatsu.

Third place, 13mins and 15 seconds – Allen Whitaker and Conner Withington, from Prestige Commercial Vehicles.

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