Ford Performance Racing heads back to Australia's legendary Mount Panorama racing circuit this week with one goal - to follow up last seasons second place finish with a win in the 2005 Bob Jane T-Marts Bathurst 1000.

CAT FPR Falcon drivers Craig Lowndes and Glenn Seton return to re-form one of the strongest driver combinations competing in this year's event. With five championships and five Mount Panorama podium finishes between them, Lowndes and Seton are focused on achieving their goal of winning the main event on the V8 Supercar calendar.

"We learned a lot from Sandown and the team has worked extensively to improve our enduro performance over the past month, supporting our goal of winning my second and Glenn's first Bathurst title," Lowndes said. "This is a race that everyone desires - everyone wants to win it. If you have a bad season, Bathurst can stand alone as an outstanding achievement for the team.

"What I like most about Bathurst is the sheer distance of the race - over six hours of racing, the Mount Panorama circuit, the challenge of trying to get the best out of the car despite all of the track's variables. Elevations, fast corners, slow corners and the bumpy section across the top of the mountain make it a major challenge to set the car up right and that's what makes winning this great race so rewarding."

At 39, this year's Bathurst classic marks Seton's 21st 1000 kilometre enduro start at Mount Panorama. If he and Lowndes can win it, the double V8 Supercar Champion will have waited longer than any other driver in the 44 year history of the race to stand on the top step of the Bathurst podium.

"We have had a pretty tough Championship year, but thinking back to our fantastic result of second last year together with Craig, I believe that we are capable of taking that one next step on the podium this year," he said. "That is our goal - both of us want to win this race. I haven't been able to achieve this yet, despite having come very close through the years.

"This is my 21st Bathurst start and I'm confident that with Rob Benson on board we will have reliable and powerful engines. The team has also learned a great deal over the past 12 months, making us much stronger than we were this time last year at Bathurst. There is no race that is more important to me than this one - Bathurst is the Indianapolis of Australia, no other race generates the passion amongst all competitors, teams and the public than this one - and we are competing to win it."

Ford Credit Falcon drivers Alain Menu and Adam Macrow displayed some strong race speed at Sandown a month ago, the double British Touring Car Champion and the young gun forming a solid combination in the #5 Falcon.

The duo arrive in Bathurst ready for a strong performance, with Menu rating the circuit as one of his favourites, having almost won at Mount Panorama in 1997 for Williams Renault.

"The Bathurst 1000 is one of the world's great motor races and FPR has worked hard to give Adam and I the car we need to get a strong result," he said. "This is my fourth time on the mountain and after the experience gained and lessons learned from Sandown, I believe that the team is in very good shape for this race. I have been looking forward to returning to Bathurst for a long time and considering how competitive the V8 Supercar Series has been this season, it should be an incredible race."

Macrow will be making his sixth appearance in Australia's most famous motor race and he hopes to continue his improvement around the circuit.

"I can't wait to get back to Mount Panorama - I had a great run last year and hopefully I can pick up where we left off and gain a strong result," he said. "The main goal will be to set up a fast race car that takes care of its tyres, which will make the car consistent and easy to drive throughout the race distance. This way Alain and I can race hard towards a good finish. Having raced at Bathurst five times before and knowing the circuit well, I have improved every year and I plan for this year to be no exception."

Chief engineer John Russell admits that the team has work to do to emulate the performance of twelve months ago, but they will be going all out for victory.

"After a long period of preparation following Sandown, the team looks forward to the adventure that Bathurst always becomes," he said. "Glenn and Craig's podium last year sets us a hard benchmark to follow, but as ever everyone in the team will be gunning for that ultimate top step. The new members of staff are bringing greater strength to FPR and notably Rob Benson's presence in the engine department is starting to make a much needed impact."