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FPR's new headquarters opened in Melbourne

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FPR's new headquarters opened in Melbourne
Mar 1, 2004, 3:13 PM

Ford Performance Racing Opens Australia's Largest Motor Racing Engineering Facility February 29, 2004 -- Prodrive owned Australian V8 Supercar team, Ford Performance Racing (FPR), has raised the curtain on the team's outstanding new engineering ...

Ford Performance Racing Opens Australia's Largest Motor Racing Engineering Facility

February 29, 2004 -- Prodrive owned Australian V8 Supercar team, Ford Performance Racing (FPR), has raised the curtain on the team's outstanding new engineering headquarters.

Without a doubt the country's largest motor racing engineering facility, the FPR Race Centre was opened to the public as the highlight of today's Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV) and FPR Open Day.

Prodrive Chairman David Richards was joined by Managing Director Nick Fry, Ford Australia Managing Director Geoff Polites, FPV / FPR Managing Director David Flint and FPR Champion drivers Craig Lowndes and Glenn Seton in unveiling the 3,600 square metre FPR engineering and administrative headquarters. Prior to the official opening, the entire building had been completely concealed by a massive blue curtain that was spectacularly raised in front of several thousand Ford fans, members of the media and FPR commercial partner VIP guests.

Located within a one kilometre radius of the main Ford Australia design and manufacturing plants, the FPR Race Centre shares the same site as Australia' s only V8 engine production line and the Prodrive Asia Pacific technology centre. The new FPR headquarters houses some of the most advanced precision engineering equipment available, along with the management and marketing teams of both Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV) and FPR, promoting the total performance link that exists between these two powerful blue oval marques.

Major emphasis has been placed on making the FPR Race Centre easily accessible for race fans.The attractive building layout features an FPR, FPV and Ford Racing retail outlet, comfortable cafe area and spacious conference / meeting facilities for the use of FPV, FPR, the team's commercial partners, Ford / FPV car clubs and charity events.

According to Prodrive Chairman David Richards, today marks a very important milestone for the global company's Australian motor racing operations. "Today we are involved in the world's top motorsport formulae: Formula One with B.A.R, the World Rally Championship with Subaru and International Sports Car racing with privately run Ferraris and the forthcoming Aston Martin Racing programme. This superb facility shows our commitment to our partnership with Ford in what is truly one of the most exciting and most avidly followed series in the world."

FPV/ FPR Managing Director David Flint is delighted to welcome the public to this innovative motor racing facility for the first time. "Our new FPR Race Centre forms the solid engineering foundation that this young V8 Supercar team needs to take it to the top of the V8 Supercar Championship, while placing special importance on public access and versatile corporate partner use. We extend an open invitation to blue oval enthusiasts nationwide to visit us when next in Melbourne."

The FPR Race Centre is located at 4 - 40 Glenbarry Road, Campbellfield. The retail outlet and race cafe is open to the public from 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday and from 9:00am to 1:00pm on Saturdays. Organised tours of the FPR Race Centre and the FPV manufacturing facilities are scheduled twice per week and can only be arranged by contacting the FPV Customer Relationship Centre on 133 FPV (378).

/ends.

Images of today's FPR Race Centre opening can be downloaded from the FPR On Line Media Centre -- www.fpv.com.au/mediacentre

For further information or interviews contact Paul Marinelli, FPR Media Relations - 03 9387 1333 / 0417 558 655.

A detailed description of the new FPR Race Centre follows;

THE FPR RACE CENTRE CREATES A NEW BENCHMARK IN AUSTRALIAN MOTOR RACING ENGINEERING EXCELLENCE

February 29, 2003 -- The newly opened Ford Performance Racing (FPR) technical headquarters and race centre in Melbourne creates a new benchmark in Australian motor racing engineering by Prodrive.

The impressive 3,600 square metre building has been designed to accommodate every facet of FPR's V8 Supercar manufacturing, engineering and marketing activities.

Serving both as a technical and commercial centre for FPR, the modern facility is also a multi- purpose venue that can be used by the team's marketing partners for conferences, meetings or general activities, integrating selected business activities of FPR's commercial partners within the one versatile building.

In addition to this being the nation's largest motor racing engineering facility, the new FPR headquarters is also the business centre for Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV). The company's management and marketing teams are also based in the new headquarters, further promoting the total performance link between FPV and its racing counterpart FPR.

Located on the same site as Australia's only V8 engine production line and Prodrive Automotive Technology's Australian technical centre, all of the FPV and FPR facilities are located within a one kilometre radius of the main Ford Australia assembly plant. This enables the FPR to take full advantage of the design and engineering resources of Ford Australia and Prodrive, two of the world's leading automotive and motorsport engineering companies.

The public entrance to the FPR Race Centre takes the form of a retail outlet, representing FPV, FPR and Ford merchandise. A stylish cafe that has also been fitted with windows that offer close-up views of the FPR crew working on the team's BA Falcon V8 Supercars for Champion drivers Craig Lowndes and Glenn Seton.

The main workshop area consists of three purpose built car bays complete with hoists and work benches. These have been centrally located in the building, enabling all of the sub-assembly components to be manufactured and supplied from either side with all components coming together in the centre of the facility for the build or maintenance of each car. The cars can then be easily loaded into the team transporter, one of two brand new B-Double trailers and their prime movers which also have permanent parking and loading positions within the race centre building.

On the same level as the race workshop floor is an office area which houses the FPR race engineers, operations manager and factory manager. Adjacent to this office area is a small composites room for the repair of carbon fibre components. This composites repair facility will be continually developed as the year progresses and space has been allocated for future expansion of the team's composites production capability.

A newly equipped fabrication workshop is located to the left side of the workshop floor, featuring new tooling including a power bender, power folder, manual equipment and modern jigging equipment. This well appointed fabrication area will enable the team to build its own Falcon body shells and roll cages for the first time and raise the quality and specification of the team's manufactured car parts.

The biggest step forward in the new FPR Race Centre can be found in the team 's state of the art machine shop. The team has installed two Mori Seki CNC machines, one featuring a four axis turning centre and a three axis milling machine. Joining this leading edge CAD / CAM equipment are three high quality manual machines including a surface grinder, mill and lathe.

Adjacent to the machine shop is a separate area devoted purely to team research and development. This part of the race centre includes precision equipment that allows the team to test the torsion levels of their BA Falcon V8 Supercar chassis and associated suspension components through physical tests. A separate enclosed working area within the R & D room enables FPR to build, test and develop shock absorbers.

The right side of the workshop floor finds a well equipped store facility, designed to handle large V8 Supercar components such as body parts along with the smaller fastening and quarantined components which are destined for engine and transmission sub-assemblies.

Adjacent to the stores facility are three pristinely clean build rooms for the team's differential housings, transmissions and engine sub-assemblies. At the rear of these rooms is a "dirty" area for the detailed cleaning of these components prior to re-assembly.

The sub-assembly area features a new crack testing machine which allows the team to inspect all drive line and engine components for evidence of fatigue. The engine build shop next door contains three build stations, each equipped with its own computer to accurately log mileages, engine component life and specifications. The completed engines are then taken through to the adjacent 1,200 horsepower dynamometer cell.

This high capacity dynamometer far exceeds the power requirements for V8 Supercar engines, to ensure the highest resolution within the power ranges required.

The FPR dyno room is equipped with a high level of sensitive technical equipment and the facility has also been designed to accommodate a second dynamometer in the future. The entire area is also climate controlled both within the dyno cells and for the engine air inlet feeds.

At the outside of the FPR Race Centre is an undercover cleaning area for chassis components and the team transporters, which can also be used as an undercover loading area for the team's B-Double transporters if required, with ample turning space incorporated into the site design. The delivery bay to the FPR Race Centre stores facility is also completely undercover.

The FPR Race Centre does not end at the workshop floor, with the first level housing the team's management, administration and marketing personnel, who are also joined by two FPR design engineers. The design engineers operate two HP CAD platforms running C3-P Ideas software, (as also used by Ford Australia) a powerful design package that assists the team in making very accurate and comprehensive models of the cars and their components.

According to John Russell, FPR Chief Engineer, "The new FPR Race Centre allows the team to become predominantly self sufficient in the manufacturing and quality control of most components that are used on our racing program. Coupling this with the excellent car, engine and sub assembly preparation facilities provides us with the tools to step up to the next level. We see this integration of all key team operational components as an integral part of the evolution of FPR."

Destined to become a regular attraction for Melbourne bound motor racing and automotive enthusiasts, the FPR Race Centre is a venue designed primarily as a world class motor racing engineering facility with major emphasis on accessibility for the public and practicality for the team's corporate partners. The attractive venue is also a brilliant public platform to showcase the latest in total performance from both FPV and FPR.

The FPR Race Centre retail outlet and cafe is located at 4--40 Glenbarry Road Campbellfield, Victoria. Public area operating hours are from 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday and 9:00am to 1:00pm on Saturdays. Organised tours of the FPR Race Centre and FPV manufacturing facilities are scheduled twice per week and can only be arranged by contacting the FPV Customer Relationship Centre on 133 FPV (378).

-fpr-

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