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BRENTWOOD, 26 April, 2004 – Ford Motor Company Limited and leading sports apparel company, Oakley, are teaming up to show support for three of Britain's top sports stars this year. Olympic rowing gold medallist James Cracknell, MBE, top mountain biker Rob Warner and Stephen Sword, British Motocross champion, already ambassadors for Oakley, have each been loaned a Ranger Thunder, Ford's stunning 4x4 pick up truck.

With plenty of room in the pick-up box for sports equipment and the capability of towing up to 2,800kg, the champs will have no problems travelling to events with all their equipment. Each Ranger has also been personally accessorised from the extensive dealer-fit Ford range, according to the sports stars' individual requirements.

Rob thought that an aluminium load liner would help protect the vehicle from his sports gear, which can get quite wet and muddy. Stephen liked the idea of having the chunky stainless steel sports bar as well, which definitely makes the Ranger stand out from the crowd. James requested an aluminium tonneau cover for the load box to secure his sports gear, as well as a towbar for ease of towing any lengthy rowing equipment.

The sportsmen were all thrilled to have the opportunity to drive the Ranger Thunders for a year, James saying: "Having a vehicle with the work capabilities and comfort of Ranger makes both training for, and getting to, sporting events so much easier. This pick-up can go anywhere and do anything, yet it has a luxurious feel that is so welcome after a hard day's training."

Ranger Thunder is priced at £17,800 on the road (excl. VAT), has an insurance group rating of 12 and comes with a full leather interior, moody black and silver paintwork, fog lamps and Thunder decals. Based on the Ranger XLT, Thunder also boasts electrically operated windows and mirrors, central locking, CD player, ABS, and air conditioning. Powered by Ford's acclaimed Duratorq WLT 2.5-litre 12-valve turbo diesel engine, Ranger produces 109 PS of power at 3500 rpm and 226 Nm of torque at 2000 rpm.

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