Motorsport has been struck hard by the current credit crisis, but Ford Performance Racing has weathered the storm and even attracted new investment for 2009.

The team has re-signed three of its most significant sponsors, Ford, Castrol and Orrcon Steel, as well as adding WesTrac CAT to its portfolio. It will also be the primary Ford-sponsored team in the V8 Supercar Championship Series from 2009.

Newly-signed Director of Business Operations Mark Roworth has been integral to the strengthening of FPR's economic position. "Maintaining current budgets is a challenge right now, let alone expanding them," he said. "This is a real testament to the value people place in both our team and the championship as a whole.

"We couldn't be happier to have retained Ford, Castrol and Orrcon Steel. They've been excellent partners to us for several years and I'm looking forward to deepening the connection between our companies. WesTrac was the perfect fit to join the group; we've got so much to offer them and they'll be a welcome addition to our other partners as well."

WesTrac's Managing Director Jim Walker said FPR's success over the past years was one of the primary draws. "We want to align our brand with a team that is strong on and off the podium," he said. "Quality and performance are fundamental to WesTrac and Caterpillar's value to our customers; we want to sponsor a racing team that we feel demonstrates these characteristics."

WesTrac plans to use the sponsorship to build and maintain relationships with its customers in residential, commercial and civil construction, as well as mining and haulage.

"This will be a great opportunity to not only build relationships with our customers trackside but also to show them the breadth and depth of our facilities, parts warehouse and services available to them," Walker added.

-credit: fpr