February 7, 2008 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) is delighted to welcome Dean Canto and Luke Youlden to the Prodrive team for the 2008 V8 Supercar endurance races.

This highly experienced duo will join FPR full season drivers Steve Richards and Mark Winterbottom at the inaugural L&H 500 at Phillip Island in Victoria on September 14 and the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 on October 12.

Both Youlden (30) and Canto (27), will take part in all FPR test days and the new 2008 Enduro Driver Sessions at the Eastern Creek, Sandown, Queensland Raceway and Winton rounds, ensuring that they become quickly accustomed to the intricacies of the FPR BF Falcons ahead of these crucial long distance races.

FPR could not have selected two more experienced and versatile enduro drivers ahead of what is expected to be the blue oval team's most competitive V8 Supercar season to date. Canto has competed in seven Bathurst 1000 events with a best finish of fifth (2001), while Youlden has a career best Bathurst result of third (2003) also from seven main series starts at Mount Panorama.

Both drivers are former V8 Supercar Development Series front-runners and have gained several seasons of endurance racing and testing experience with some of the most competitive teams in the V8 Supercar field prior to being selected by FPR for this important role.

Although FPR did have an option on 2007 FPR endurance race driver Owen Kelly, by mutual agreement the team has not exercised this option for the 2008 endurance races in order for the talented driver to pursue racing opportunities in the United States. All at FPR wish him every success and thank him for the valued contribution he has made over the past 12 months.

According to FPR Team Principal, Tim Edwards, "It is great to have secured two highly experienced and competitive V8 Supercar drivers as our endurance race drivers ahead of the start of the new season. Both Dean and Luke bring extensive endurance racing expertise to FPR, while their participation with the team this season will also be invaluable to us."

FPR will announce its confirmed driver pairings for the two forthcoming V8 Supercar endurance races in due course.

-credit: fpr