Pirtek Backs Ford's Entry
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Michael Guest - Pirtek Rally Team Ford,
in testing for the Rally of Canberra
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8th March, 2006
Ford's entry in the 2006 Australian Rally Championship will officially be known as Pirtek Rally Team Ford.
The three-year partnership was announced yesterday ahead of this week's opening round of the Australian Rally Championship, the Rally of Canberra.
After a 25-year absence, 2006 marks the return of Ford to what is regarded as one of the leading domestic rally championships anywhere in the world.
For Pirtek, the Australian Rally Championship may be a new venture, but its association with the Ford Racing programme dates back to 1998 when it first joined Stone Brothers Racing.
Ford will contest the 2006 Australian Rally Championship with a Ford Focus built to Group N (P) regulations.
Behind the wheel will be multiple champion Michael Guest, with the vastly experience Mark Stacey in the co-driver's seat.
A full factory operation, Pirtek Rally Team Ford will be run from its own workshop within Ford Australia's Broadmeadows Manufacturing precinct.
"Pirtek has been a great friend of ours for a number of years, now it's great to have a true partnership in a programme that we are both excited about," said Ford Racing Manager Ray Price.
"Our goal is to ultimately enjoy the same success with Focus in the Australian Rally Championship as we have with Falcon in V8 Supercars.
"Although this will be our first foray into Australian rallying for some time, we expect that the experience of the people involved in the rally programme will ensure we are competitive throughout this season."
Pirtek is the market leader in providing its diverse group of customers with a comprehensive portfolio of fluid transfer solution products and services.
"For Pirtek the opportunity to get involved with a brand new and very professional programme like this has us all very excited," said Managing Director of Pirtek, Glenn Duncan.
"Our philosophy of supporting organisations and individuals in their infancy has paid off over the years for both parties.
"With Pirtek Rally Team Ford we are confident of another success story."
"Racing has provided Pirtek with many highlights over the years and our partnership with Ford in the rally arena is sure to see that list grow."
"The great thing with rallying is that it gets our name to not only a new audience, it also provides our franchisee network with further opportunities to promote themselves through this spectacular form of motor sport."
The Focus is rear-wheel-drive with a 2.3 litre normally aspirated (non-turbo charged) in-line, 4-cylinder, 16-valve, twin-cam Duratec engine. Drive is delivered through a six-speed sequential transmission.
After numerous test sessions leading into the 2006 season, Michael Guest is confident of good performances throughout the year.
"The Pirtek Rally Team Ford Focus will be spectacular," said Guest.
"An enormous amount of work has gone into the programme and I'm sure the outcome will be very positive for everyone involved, including Pirtek and Ford."
"I've had the opportunity to spend some time with Pirtek and the most pleasing thing is that we are all sharing the same amount of enthusiasm for the year ahead."
"Likewise I've seen the enthusiasm within not only the rally community, but also the wider sporting community about Ford's return. From all accounts we have already started the season on the right note."
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