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Team Ford Racing is gearing up for a bumper year in the 2007 Absa Off Road Championship. The season kicks into gear at the Nissan Dealer event taking place in the Darling area on 16 and 17 March.

The 2006 season saw the introduction of the new SP production vehicle class. The Super Production class was designed to provide more competitive racing at the top echelons of Production Racing.

“The Super Production class proved to be a great success in 2006,” explained team manager Neil Woolridge. “To our delight we were competitive from the outset and there was plenty of close racing throughout the season.”

Neil Woolridge together with navigator Kenny Skjoldhammer won the SP Class and were the runners up in the overall Production Vehicle championship. Meanwhile, Manfred Schroder and Ward Huxtable took the Class E laurels in 2006, following their dominant performance.

“This year we will be looking to improve on the strides we made last year. The SP Class and the Overall Production Vehicle title are firmly in our sites and thanks to a strong driver and navigator line-up we are upbeat about our prospects.”

The Nissan Dealer 400, in the Western Cape, marks the anniversary of Ford’s SP debut with the powerful 4-litre Ranger. Woolridge and Skjoldhammer steered the newly prepared vehicle to second place on last year’s events. This year they will be looking to go one better when the race gets underway on 16 March.

Joining Woolridge and Skjoldhammer in the SP Class will be Brendan Harcus and Juan Mohr, both of whom are well known in the Off Road Racing circles, having competed under the Motorite and Nissan banners respectively.

“We are excited to join Team Ford Racing in 2007,” commented Harcus. “The team made impressive strides in 2006 and we look forward to challenging at the sharp end of the field with them in 2007.”

Manfred Schröder and Ward Huxtable, 2006 Class E champions, will be in the third Ford Ranger SP. “More power, tougher competition. We are ready and aim to be on the podium again this year”, “With three Ford Rangers in the Super Production line-up, we’ll give all we have to prove again that it is Ford Built Tough” commented Manfred.

Jack Peckham and Lucio Santoro will also join the team for this season, driving the Class E Ford Ranger. Jack Peckham a previous navigator for Ford had his first taste of driving the Class E Ranger at the final race of last season.

“Both Lucio and I are delighted to be a more permanent fixture in the Ford team,” commented Peckham. “I had the opportunity to drive the vehicle at the final round of last year’s championship. We managed to win our class on the day – hopefully that is a sign of things to come for us this season.”

Team Ford Racing will be partnered by Rockford Fosgate, Time Freight and Harden Auto in their quest to challenge for silverware in this year’s ABSA Off Road Championship.

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