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AT 88, OZEMAIL 'SUPER-TEAM' HAS RUNS ON THE BOARD

Two wily motorsport veterans, Brad Jones and John Bowe, will unite next season for Ford's newest "super-team", OzEmail Racing.

Bowe was, as expected, named as Jones' teammate in an expanded, two-car OzEmail Racing campaign at a launch in Melbourne today, resurrecting the 47-year-old stalwart's V8 Supercar career after he parted ways with Briggs Motorsport recently.

Jones, 41, and Bowe will form one of the most accomplished - and oldest - pairings on the circuit next year. The seasoned campaigners have a plethora of national titles to their name: Bowe the only man to win the Touring Car, Sports Car and Formula Holden crowns, and Jones a multiple Super Touring and AUSCAR/NASCAR championship winner.

Both are still in their prime, evidenced at Mount Panorama in October where they set a punishing pace throughout the race. Jones, with co-driver John Cleland, finished an inspired second in the endurance classic, providing much of the motivation to expand the operation.

Jones, who has run one OzEmail Falcon in the V8 series from his base in Albury since joining the Supercar fraternity last year, said adding a second car to the fleet was a natural progression, and a long-held goal of the team.

"Both Kim (partner/brother Kim Jones) and I knew that to be successful in the V8 Supercar category we needed the team to grow," Jones said. "The benefits of a two-car team are far greater, particularly with development and testing.

"To be able to secure the services of John is fantastic. With all his experience and ability, he will be a major asset to our team and will put us in a position to be very competitive in the future."

When Bowe left CAT Racing for the open market, Jones approached OzEmail and Ford Racing with a view to running a second car for his long-time friend. The proposal was met favorably, with both agreeing to provide greater financial assistance for the new two-car operation.

"Everybody knew the value that John would bring to the team and if it wasn't for their support, we wouldn't be here today," Jones said.

Bowe said he had a number of opportunities on the table after leaving CAT Racing, but chose Jones' outfit because of the professional and friendly environment.

"When Brad and I first started to talk about me joining the OzEmail team obviously I was excited," he said. "This team is totally professional and equally important for me, it has a friendly environment. I think we will be a real force next year."

Bowe will effectively be on-loan from Prancing Horse Racing, where he has been appointed their Director of Motorsports. Bowe said the dual role has benefits for both parties.

"My arrangement with Prancing Horse Racing allows me to spend the time I require with Brad and the OzEmail team and also oversee the PHR racing program," he said. "There are a lot of advantages...particularly with the development side."

Ford President Geoff Polites unveiled the team's plans at today's launch.

"Ford is making a massive commitment to V8 Supercars, not only with funding to our teams, but also extra marketing to promote the Ford brand through racing," Mr Polites said.

"The extension of the OzEmail Racing Team to 2002 is the type of commitment needed for success in V8 Supercars. Ford shares the team's excitement as it sets its sights on truly challenging the competition."

Ford Racing General Manager, Howard Marsden, said the experience of Jones and Bowe would ensure OzEmail Racing would be "one of the most professional teams on and off the track."

OzEmail's increased commitment to the team, as one of few non-automotive major team sponsors, was warmly received. OzEmail Internet CEO, Justin Milne, said he was proud to support the team's ongoing growth and success.

The team will recruit heavily over the next few months, and have already acquired the services of ex-Dick Johnson Racing engineer, Phillip Curtis.

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