A passion for all things automotive has driven a local student all the way to a national skills competition.
Stryder Cooke, 17 — a student at Ladysmith Secondary and Vancouver Island University, not to mention already a heavy duty mechanic — will be taking his wrenches and know-how all the way to Quebec City on June 1-4 to check under the hood against the nation’s top talents.
To get to the national stage, Cooke had to first win regionals at Vancouver Island University and provincials in Abbotsford.
For Cooke, his passion of mechanical work came at a young age and was passed down to him from his dad, Paul.
“I remember at four years old, me and my dad rebuilding my first dirt bike, but I think I was in the garage even before that,” said Cooke.
Cooke said he is a Chevy guy who loves any chance to upgrade his ride.
Currently, he has a 19’83 Blazer that is jacked up around nine inches and a 1971 VW.
As far as the competition itself, Cooke already has some idea of what’s in store.
“They are going to bug cars and expect us to find out what’s wrong with them … they expect us to measure and test senses.”
That could include a faulty turn signal or other problems with the vehicle, said Cooke.
“We will probably do some engine work,” said Cooke, who said he will be studying with his teachers ahead of the event.
Some of the things he will be brushing up on include fuel systems and senses.
Cooke will be leaving on May 31 for the competition and will be catching the red-eye home to make it back in time for the LSS prom.