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JONES' WAUGH ZONE: OZEMAIL PRIMED FOR BA SUCCESS

V8 Supercar racing's irrepressible Jones brothers have declared Waugh on the 2003 championship.

Australian cricketing great Steve Waugh unveiled OzEmail Racing's first 2003-spec BA Falcon today in familiar surroundings, Sydney's North Sydney Oval, as Kim and Brad Jones officially launched their assault on the 2003 championship.

Named the team's number one supporter, Waugh's determination epitomises the philosophy of the Albury-based OzEmail Racing operation, Brad Jones said.

"Obviously we are honoured in having someone of the stature of Steve Waugh become associated with our team," he said.

"We're hoping the same determination helps us start where we left off last season, vying for the number one Ford team status. We've put in an enormous effort over the off-season to be as prepared as possible and we're confident we can hit the ground running."

OzEmail Racing was arguably Ford's best team after Stone Brothers Racing last season, with standout performances from Jones and especially teammate John Bowe. Both finished inside the top 15 in the championship, contending for a number of races towards the end of the year.

Bowe's No. 888 car was uncovered today, the first BA-model Ford off the OzEmail production line, in familiar, and blander, green and black livery.

Jones' mount, in a reversed green and white design, is nearing completion, and along with Bowe's should make its championship debut at the season-opening Clipsal 500 in Adelaide next month.

"There's no doubt that the new BA Falcon will be a better race car and with the changes made under Project Blueprint, we should be truly competitive against the Commodore this year," Jones said. "With the right car and the right drivers in 2003, we will be outright contenders."

48-year-old Bowe provided much of the impetus for the team's meteoric rise last year, and shows no signs of slowing down.

"I am very proud to have been part of the progress the team made last year and I can only see that going even further in 2003," he said.

"It's now time to take the next step to become a consistent 'pointy-end' competitor and I truly believe we can do that."

As for Waugh, he's just hoping for some more "exhilarating" laps as a passenger.

"I caught V8 Supercar fever when OzEmail invited me to the Canberra race last year," Australia's most successful test cricket captain said. "This year I'd love to get a repeat dose, and am hoping to get to one of the races soon.

"Who knows, my schedule permitting I may even be changing tyres at Bathurst."

--V8 WIRE (Jason Whittaker)

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