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LOWNDES IN SLEEK CAT ATTACK

Craig Lowndes will be powered by prime movers Caterpillar this season, it was confirmed today.

CAT will align itself with Ford's V8 super-star, sponsoring Lowndes' No. 6 Ford Performance Racing BA Falcon.

The company split with Briggs Motorsport last season, but were keen to maintain their presence in V8 Supercar racing. The factory-backed Lowndes package was the ideal choice, CAT's Mike Leyden said.

"We're absolutely thrilled with the deal and have every confidence that we will be seeing a lot more of the CAT brand right up there in the front of the grid," he said.

"At the end of a pretty ordinary season in 2002, we looked at every option before committing to this year. We felt that our long-term links with Ford made it natural to stay with the Blue Oval. Then when Ford offered Craig Lowndes as the driver of the CAT car, we were sure that we had the right combination and the right team."

The CAT Falcon will be unveiled in its new guise at the Melbourne Motor Show in a few weeks.

"The design we agreed upon retains the strong CAT branding but allows the car's own lines to shine through," Leyden said. "It's a strong design and it's going to look brilliant when it's out in front."

Prodrive-backed Ford Performance Racing's three-car fleet, including the Falcons of Glenn Seton and David Besnard, will each have their own identity and sponsors.

Sponsorship branding for the other cars is yet to be announced.

--V8 WIRE (Jason Whittaker)

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