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Darren Windus and Jon Mortimer have given the Ford Focus XR5 an impressive Australian competition debut at the Targa West tarmac road rally.
Driving a standard XR5, Windus easily won the Production Class and finished 16th outright in the modern division, only beaten by fully fledged rally entries and race-prepared exotic sports cars.
To showcase the outstanding features of the standard XR5, Windus only fitted fresh brakes and tyres before the event. In the rally itself he relied on his 11-year-old son, Aaron, to be his full service crew. Even while others were filling with exotic race fuels, Windus was at the local service station topping-up with premium unleaded petrol!
"The XR5 was excellent over the entire three days of competition," said Windus.
"Considering this was my first ever tarmac rally, plus we had very slippery conditions on the first day, the XR5 put in a giant killing effort.

"It was the most affordable car in the field with a price tag in the mid $30,000s. There was plenty of people who spent a lot more money on cars and support who finished a long way behind us.
"I was very impressed with how the car performed. The only major service we did in the event was rotating the wheels from front to rear at the half-way mark. Otherwise, my son checked the oil and simply made sure all the nuts were tight!
"We also had to make sure we had some cash on us for fuel. Some of the service station attendants thought it was quite funny when we walked in wearing race suits!
"I really enjoyed the event and we got quite a following from the Ford fans, especially a group that included XR5 Focus and XR4 Fiestas!
"All we need to do is give it and wash it's on it’s way back to Ford."
Over the three days of rallying, the XR5 Focus completed 33 timed stages covering 225 competitive kilometres.
Windus now jumps back aboard his purpose-built Super 2000 Ford Fiesta with the Pirtek Rally Team for the 5th round of the NEC Australian Rally Championship, the Great Lakes Rally to be held this weekend on the mid-north Coast of New South Wales.
Windus, along with teammate Michael Guest, take part in shakedown today outside Forster ahead of this weekend's action.
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