Ford Performance Racing has revealed that one of Australian V8 Supercar racing's most recognisable sponsors - Caterpillar - has extended its relationship with leading Ford team Ford Performance Racing for a further two years.

According to FPR managing director David Flint, the announcement re-iterates the strong relationship that has developed between his young team and what he describes as a 'proactive multi-national company'.

"Caterpillar was a foundation sponsor of FPR - the company expressed total belief in our plans for the future well before our first car was even built," Flint explained, "Caterpillar's support has been integral to the team being able to achieve what no other has done in their inaugural season. We warmly welcome the entire CAT family of manufacturers and dealers as a long term sponsor of FPR, and plan to return this extended vote of confidence with greater success both on and off the track."

Rob Obliubek, Caterpillar's global on-highway engines department manager for the Asia-Pacific region, confirmed that the extended two-year FPR sponsorship represented the company's single most significant marketing investment.

"We are delighted to take this exciting next step with FPR for a further two years, following the team's highly successful debut season," he said, "The team achieved its goal of finishing in the top five in 2003 and, with the move to two cars next season, there is no doubt that the team will be major players in 2004 and beyond.

"FPR has definitely lived up to the promise that we believed existed when we were first presented with Prodrive's bold V8 Supercar plan. We eagerly await the success that this further two years together will bring for both of our organisations."

Having heard the announcement, CAT driver Craig Lowndes shared the team's enthusiasm for the forthcoming season.

"It has been a great experience being a part of the CAT family in 2003," he said, "I have had the chance to meet many Caterpillar employees and dealer teams during the year and have seen first hand the level of support that exists for FPR at every level of the company's operations. This is what helps us to make a winning V8 Supercar team and we look forward to an even more exciting future together."

Securing the title rights to one of the team's FPR Falcons for the next two years will ensure continued strong CAT brand awareness in Australia and key Asia-Pacific markets, including China. The company will also continue to leverage its FPR V8 Supercar sponsorship through highly effective customer relationship and loyalty programs, as its mining, construction, on-highway truck engine and parts, service and product support divisions join the CAT Dealer Team in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and China as key stakeholders in the marketing alliance.



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