Meet Isuzu's Best Technician
WRITTEN BY: MARK HARMAN
Albury service savant Peter Carter has been crowned the 'Best Individual Isuzu Light Commercial Vehicle Technician in the World'. Some competitions are fiercer than others. The Isuzu World Technical Competition—known globally as the ‘I-1 GRAND-PRIX’—is brutal. The 17th running of the international automotive technical service contest was held late last year, featuring 42 finalists from 21 countries.
After triumphing in their individual territories, the crème de la crème of Isuzu’s global technicians meets every two years in a fiendishly difficult battle of skill. With the 2000 event cancelled due to COVID-19, the 2022 competition was held virtually—adding another layer of challenge—among a group of entrants who’d had even longer to prepare. In the end, there could be only one winner. Hailing from Blacklocks Isuzu UTE in Albury and with a decade of experience under his belt, Peter Carter emerged triumphant.
The People’s Champ! How Did You Win It?
Well, in 2018 I was equal second in Australia, so I went to the final in Thailand as a back-up. I didn’t get to compete, but that was eye-opening and exciting and I got to see how seriously it was taken. So in 2022 when I saw the competition announcement I entered straight away.
What did the contest entail?
First, a lot of questions with the clock counting down. Really draining. Then two virtual diagnostics on the computer— I think I may have been one of the only competitors who managed to solve the second problem. Then we had a 15-minute vehicle inspection, which reviewed our teamwork and how we worked on the car, with everything filmed and sent overseas for judging and analysis.
How did you find out you’d won?
Isuzu hosted a Microsoft Teams event for the international awards presentation, but I didn’t join that, I just watched the feed on the Isuzu Grand Prix website with my partner. We saw all the official ceremonies and the presentations, and they counted down the results. It got tenser and tenser, and they got to number four … when our internet dropped out at home!
We were sitting there, stressing—‘It’ll come back, it’ll come back!’ And then my phone rang—it was the Isuzu UTE head office and you could hear screaming and cheering in the background. I was saying, ‘Our internet stopped on number four, I’m just watching it!’ Someone said, ‘Wait, he doesn’t know yet!’ When they announced first place—‘Peter Carter’—my phone did not stop ringing for the rest of the night.
The price of fame!
I got a 40-second snippet on Channel 7 and half a page on page two of the Border Mail. I was only bumped off the cover because there was a nurse who’d incorrectly done tests on about 2,000 people!
Has anyone recognised you?
I race cross country mountain bikes and the best one, was a guy in my age group who I have a bit of a friendly rivalry with, although I only really catch up with him at races. But on Sunday mornings, on one of my rides, I always pass him going the opposite way. We usually just go, ‘Hey Greg!’ ‘Hey Pete!’ and that’s about it. But after that weekend as we went past, he shouted, ‘CONGRATULATIONS PETER!’
What have you done with the trophy?
I went to visit my mum in Adelaide and took it to show her. It’s a nice big glass trophy from Japan. Every now and then l look at it and get a little bit emotional again.
Was your mum stoked?
Absolutely! She’s nearly 90 and she said the worst thing is that my dad’s not alive to see me this happy. She’s telling everyone from the retirement village, all the people from church, she’s showing them the newspaper. She’s so excited.