Like the Olympic Games of the automotive world, the Audi Twin Cup world championship is the ultimate destination for service and technician staff of the other well-known brand symbolized by rings. Held this year in Munich, Germany, teams of six — three from each department — will be competing from 40 nations for the recognition of being the best in their field.
Dragos Paduraru has been a Service Advisor with OpenRoad Audi in Vancouver for seven years, and knows a thing or two about the topic having been part of the Canadian team that finished fifth overall at the 2013 event. He will be reprising his role as ambassador, along with technician and fellow co-worker Aaron Berghoffer, following victories in their respective categories at the nationals in early April. Staff technician Peter Cheung also competed making it to the semi-finals.
Paduraru says he originally joined the competition to challenge himself.
“I wanted to see how well I’m prepared. I know I can do very well in terms of service processes, and also I’m familiar with the parts as well and also the shop a little bit,” he says.
To qualify, anyone working in the appropriate areas within the Audi dealer network can throw their names in the hat. The first hurdle is at the local level where entrants must undergo two rounds of general knowledge testing on the computer.
“The questions vary from very technical ones that are car related, to extremely customer-oriented ones that have nothing to do with the car itself,” says Paduraru, originally from Romania.
The next step is the national stage at the Audi Canada corporate headquarters in Ajax, Ontario where the testing is split into customer or mechanical expertise, such as identifying a car part by blindly putting your hand into a box of items. From there, the top six get the honour of representing Canada at the Audi Twin Cup. Whereas previously entrants competed as individuals, at the worlds they must learn to function as a team.
“Why it’s named the Twin Cup is basically because the service consultants and technicians should work together like a team, like twins. Even the Sedins in hockey, they know all their moves and all their processes. It’s exactly what they want to see at the world stage, a really good performance from both sides.”
As a technician at OpenRoad Audi since 2010, Cheung says the competition offers a unique chance to network with others in his field, and also see how he measures up to them.
“I had the opportunity to see how I stand up against other Audi technicians in Canada and possibly the world.”
Berghoffer joined the company over a year ago and while he is “very excited,” acknowledges that it won’t be easy to dethrone the current champions from South Korea.
The 2014 Audi Twin cup takes place in Munich from July 16 to 19.