IMI Automotive Skills finalists battle for McLaren F1 treat

IMI Automotive Skills finalists battle for McLaren F1 treat

The Skillauto competition, organised by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), is the national competition which seeks to find the best young technicians in the fields of mechanical repair, car body repair and car painting through a knockout competition. This year, 18 finalists in three categories will compete to become national champions in their field of expertise at the UK Skills show being held from 15-17 November 2012 at the Birmingham NEC. They are: –


  • Matthew Quinn, Charles Hurst Accident Repair Centre, Co. Antrim
  • Matthew Bailey, RGM Vehicle Body Repair, Swansea
  • Jordan Thomas, TWK Thomas and Sons, Swansea
  • Martin McGarry, Lindsey Ford, Co. Antrim
  • Gerard Brennan, Northern Ireland
  • Matthew Jones, Midway Motors, Pembrokeshire


  • Mark Yates, Holdcroft Honda, Stoke on Trent
  • Matthew McKeown, Pat Kirk Ltd, Co. Omagh
  • Daniel Medlar, Clive Atthowe Tuning, Norwich
  • Gary Brown, Arnold Clark Honda, Fife
  • Rhys Morris, Nationwide Accident Repairs, Cardiff
  • Turlough Lennon, Cotswolds Subaru, Oxfordshire


  • Philip Southwood, Arnold Clark Accident Repair, Altringham
  • Gary Greer, John Lennons Accident Repair, Country Tyrone
  • Chris Louca, Cole Coachworks, Hertfordshire
  • Patrick Quinn, Fearghas Quinn Specialists Vehicles, Co. Antrim
  • Daniel Coles, Nationwide Crash Repair Centre, Bridgend
  • Marc Reilly, Nigel Whann ARC, Co. Antrim

And there is an additional prize on offer to the winners in each category – a visit to the McLaren F1 Technology Centre in Surrey. During the first two days of the Skill Show, competitors will demonstrate skills required in the three automotive disciplines in front of a live audience, with McLaren joining companies such as Würth, Morelli, SATA and manufacturers including BMW, Jaguar Land Rover and KIA in supporting the Skillauto event.

McLaren will also be onsite for the final, undertaking a Pit Stop Challenge on one of the team’s Formula 1 cars on the third day of the event, ensuring the Skillauto competition will take centre stage at the national Skills Show.

David Massie MIMI, Skills Competition Manager commented, “The Skills Show provides an ideal showcase for young talent within our industry, and the standard in this year’s heats was very high, promising us an exciting final.

“The Skillauto competition is supported by many of the top companies in our sector and I’m delighted that McLaren will also be involved, not only in providing the ultimate prize for our three champions, but in the Pit Stop Challenge activity which is sure to produce a real buzz  around our stand.

“As a Formula One multi world championship winning team they know what it takes to reach that top spot on the podium, representing absolute excellence in motorsport and our young competitors will hope to emulate that achievement and win gold in Birmingham in November.”

The IMI is the professional body for individuals working in the motor industry. Its vision is to ensure that the automotive retail sector has a skilled, competent and professional workforce that is fully equipped to keep pace with the demands of new technology and changing markets while remaining competitive in the global market.

The IMI is also the industry’s government-licensed Sector Skills Council, the ruling body of the Automotive Technician Accreditation and Automotive Management Accreditation schemes.

For more information on how you can get involved or attend the UK Skills Show competition visit: