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Posted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 4:13 pm 
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Following its first Bathurst triumph since 1998, Ford heads to the 10th round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series on the streets of Surfers Paradise (19-22 October) with eyes on securing back-to-back Manufacturer's titles.

The Manufacturer's championship is decided on the most round wins from the 13 events. With the victory at Bathurst to Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup (Team Betta Electrical) being the sixth triumph for Ford in 2006, the Blue Oval needs one more win from the remaining four rounds to retain the title.

Heading the charge will be Lowndes. The championship leader has visited top-spot on the podium four times so far in 2006 (Winton, Darwin, Oran Park and Bathurst) and he's also the defending race champion on the Gold Coast.

After two endurance rounds the V8 Supercar Series switches back to its regular three-race format. Now that all drivers have had to drop their worst round result, the driver's title has Lowndes leading Rick Kelly by 101 points.

"Now we have all dropped our worst round, we know where we are in terms of the championship and which teams are going to pose the biggest threat," said Lowndes.

"There are still four rounds to go and it is all still up for grabs, we need to keep our focus on consistency and reliability.

"While there is always a great atmosphere at Indy this weekend's event is the toughest of the four remaining championship rounds and it is a circuit that commands millimetre precision on track.

"We are in a good position heading into this round we are leading the championship, I love racing on street circuits and it's great to return to Indy as I won it last year."

Another Ford star set to make his mark on the Gold Coast is defending series' champion Russell Ingall (Caltex Racing). His fourth placing at Bathurst behind team-mate James Courtney (JELD-WEN Motorsport) showed that the Enforcer will be one to watch on the Gold Coast.

"Bathurst really sorted out a few of the drivers, so Indy is going to be a really important race with the Championship," said Ingall.

"We had a few brake dramas at Indy last year, but saying that we also set the lap record. More throttle, less brake tends to help with that! We are looking forward to getting back there.

"Our cars have been a little slower than we would like until this stage but we went to Bathurst with a new outlook and set up. To bring the cars home third and fourth at Bathurst indicates that they will be quick at Indy.

"Indy is one of my favourite events; it's a home race for us so not jumping on a plane is real good.

"But really it's the atmosphere of the place, inside and outside the race circuit. The great thing about Indy is it's got both. It's a festival rather than a race meeting and that's why they get 300,000 people coming to visit the gold coast for the race.

"Overall it's just a whole package, the track is good, exciting racing, you don't get anything better and that's why the drivers really enjoy coming here."

Other major factors that are working in the favour of the crews from Team Betta Electrical and Stone Brothers Racing, is that all of their cars finished Bathurst. Even better still, none sustained major damage; the same can't be said for the majority of the V8 Supercar field.

The two teams are also based in South-East-Queensland, while many of their major competitors have had to make their way from Melbourne. It's been a long week for teams who have had to repair cars after Bathurst and then travel to the Gold Coast.

Ford Racing Manager Ray Price is fully aware that the battle amongst all the teams from Indy onwards will be intense.

"It'll be a tough fight from Indy onwards," said Ford Racing Manager Ray Price.

"It only takes one slip-up by anyone at Indy to cause major havoc in terms of round and championship results. There's no more dropping of rounds from here to the end of championship at Phillip Island.

"There are a lot of fast cars that are not in the championship right now. I'm sure they'll be in the mix over the next few races. I trust that we'll see a good spirited and fair fight for the driver's championship."

All officially supported Ford Racing teams at Indy will again show their support for the National Breast Cancer Foundation and Breast Cancer Awareness Month by carrying pink ribbon logos either side of the Ford logo on the windscreen.

Championship after 9 of 13 rounds

1. Craig Lowndes: Team Betta Electrical: Ford Falcon 2378 pts
2. Rick Kelly: Toll HSV: Holden Commodore -101 pts
3. Mark Winterbottom: Ford Credit FPR: Ford Falcon -395 pts
4. Russell Ingall: Caltex Racing: Ford Falcon -426 pts
5. Jamie Whincup: Team Betta Electrical: Ford Falcon -498 pts
6. Garth Tander: Toll HSV: Holden Commodore -530 pts
7 Steven Richards: Jack Daniel's racing: Holden Commodore -566 pts
8. Jason Bright: CAT FPR: Ford Falcon -664 pts
9. Steven Johnson: First Rock Home Loans: Ford Falcon -685 pts
10. Paul Dumbrell: Jack Daniel's racing: Holden Commodore -732 pts



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Posted: Tue Oct 17, 2006 10:31 pm 
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will be a good last few rounds thats for sure

so wish it could be a 15 - 17 round series




Posted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 8:02 am 
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Lowndes is the man, would be great for us to win this round also, and rub salt into the wounds of the holden boys.



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