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Ford out to end 7-year Bathurst drought

 

Ford will head to the Super Cheap Auto 1000 at Bathurst with the aim of ending its longest run without victory at Mount Panorama.

Ford has not tasted success at Bathurst since 1998 when Jason Bright and Steven Richards combined to win in a Stone Brothers Racing EL Falcon, in fact Ford have only won Bathurst twice in the last 15 years.

In contrast Ford has dominated the V8 Supercar Championship Series over the past three seasons; winning the driver's championship, team's title and two out of three manufacturer's cups.

"The one thing missing in our trophy cabinet is Bathurst," said Ford President Tom Gorman.

"I don't think a day goes by when Bathurst is not brought up in some type of conversation; it means that much to everyone associated with Ford.

"A win for Ford would mean a lot. I know that we are in the middle of a championship hunt, but I know that all the Ford teams will attack to win the race. The championship is a secondary consideration right now.

"We have the talent and the teams to get us a win at Mount Panorama; however it's the one race where predictions are too hard to make.

"It would be a career, as well as a personal, highlight for me to win Bathurst."

Ford Racing Manager Ray Price has experienced Bathurst from both sides of the pit garage.

Price worked on a number of Bathurst campaigns with the legendary Allan Moffat, which included plenty of highs and lows.

"Bathurst gives you the full spectrum of emotions," said Price.

"I had many great runs at Bathurst with Allan Moffat, but the race I remember the most was 1988 when our Ford Sierra overheated after a long period behind the safety car. We had the fastest car and drivers, but came away empty handed.

"The last three years we have been very close to winning. 2004 sums it up with us taking second through to seventh placings!

"This year we not only have the talent, I also believe the momentum. We have showed excellent pace on different tracks and for the first time in a number of years we have a whole range of teams that can win the race. Over the past few years we really had just two or three who could legitimately say they could win the race. This year we certainly have half-a-dozen real chances.

"We know that to win at Bathurst you can't afford any mistakes and you must take every opportunity. It really is the hardest race to win.

"The opposition is tough - there's no doubt about that. It would be very sweet to win it this year and finally break the drought!"

Ford will officially support seven teams (13 entries) and 26 drivers at this year's race.

The Super Cheap Auto 1000 runs from October 5-8.


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