Grit & Glory: I-1 Grand Prix Back in Japan

The Isuzu World Technical Competition, better known as the I-1 Grand Prix or I-1 GP, will return home to Japan in front of a live audience for the first time since 2019. 

The I-1 GP is an event that showcases the elite talent working within the Isuzu worldwide network, and tests technicians on their skills, knowledge and overall comprehension of various systems in the Isuzu product range. 

Each competing nation will send two technicians to represent their home country, chosen through a domestic National Technical Skills Competition. This will see almost 40 international teams gathering at Isuzu Motors Limited in Japan for the final test on 01 November 2023. 

Isuzu Australia Limited (IAL) are proud to be sending Brad Hickey of Double R Trucks in Tamworth (New South Wales) and Louis Holt from Bendigo Isuzu (Victoria) to fly the flag for Team Australia. ​ 

Louis Holt and Brad Hickey
Louis Holt and Brad Hickey

The dream team 

Technicians chosen for the Grand Prix this year will spend five days in Tokyo, preparing and competing with some time put aside to enjoy the sights of the city. They will spend the day after the event at the Japan Mobility Show; a must-see event for those with an interest in the automotive world. ​ 

The I-1 GP winners will be announced at a dinner event after the competition, with the winning team taking home the coveted Golden Spanner. ​ ​ 

“We have a very strong team attending this year, who will be sure to do us proud representing IAL and the dealer network,” said IAL National Training Manager, David Smith. ​ 

“Brad and Louis represented us last year, although under very different circumstances, and their veteran experience will be invaluable in this situation.” 

Louis Holt from Bendigo Isuzu
Louis Holt from Bendigo Isuzu

The crowd in attendance at this year’s Japanese final is expected to be a 900-strong congregation comprised of Isuzu dignitaries, technician teams, coaches, and journalists from across the industry. ​ 

“Competing in front of the company brass as well as many of your most talented peers from around the world can be nerve wracking… we have seen some of the best technicians in the industry crumble under the pressure of the moment,” commented Mr Smith. 

“We’re all proud of Brad and Louis and the hours of hard work they’ve put into this—everyone is excited that they finally get to show what they can do on the big stage.” 

Brad Hickey of Double R Trucks in Tamworth
Brad Hickey of Double R Trucks in Tamworth

Reward & recognition 

The I-1 GP and associated national skills competitions serve numerous purposes in the world of Isuzu. ​ 

The competition presents a true test of resolve for technicians that has the double advantage of boosting the skill level of all competitors. ​ 

For IAL, it is an opportunity to show appreciation for the technicians that work hard to support customers and maintain Isuzu Trucks’ reputation for excellence. The event also acts as a powerful incentive and retention tool to keep top-tier talent within Isuzu. 

Anyone chosen for Team Australia will spend three weeks at the state-of-the-art IAL Head Office facility and workshop in Truganina, Melbourne. Here they enter an intense task-focused academy, bringing impressive skills to a world-class level by training one-on-one with coach Jeff Berry (IAL Technical and Fleet Manager for New South Wales) and coach-incumbent for the 2024 I-1 GP, Daniel Gorfine (IAL Service Technical Manager for Victoria/Tasmania). ​ 

With the brand now in its 34th year of market leadership, Mr Berry said the knowledge and skills held by staff across IAL’s national dealer network is worthy of note. ​ 

“Technicians don’t always get the recognition they deserve, they’re out in the workshop all day and not in the limelight. ​ 

“Their friends and colleagues know who they are and what they’re capable of, but the I-1 GP can help give them that push to become superstars in their field.” 

Grit and Glory I-1 Grand Prix Back in Japan.docx

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Sam Gangemi

Marketing and Advertising Manager, Isuzu Australia Limited

Arkajon Communications

Public Relations Agency






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