Team Hammer To Concentrate On Formula USA In 1998
Published: December 05, 1997
Team Hammer, Inc. will concentrate on the Formula USA Series as Team Valvoline EMGO Suzuki with selected forays into AMA Nationals and will not continue to run the complete WERA National Endurance Series as Team Suzuki Endurance. The team won 127 endurance races and 13 WERA National Endurance Championships in 1981-1997, as well as four Formula USA titles.
In making the announcement, Team Captain and Co-Founder John Ulrich said "It became clear in 1997 that we had taken on too much by trying to run the entire 10-race WERA National Endurance Series plus the entire Formula USA Series. Our endurance bikes and our Formula USA bikes were completely different and the preparation and travel time involved in chasing the endurance series took away from our Formula USA performance. Focusing our resources on the Formula USA Series will increase our chances of retaking the Formula USA Championship as well as allow us to mount a serious effort in the series support classes, Pro Sport and Formula Super Sport. Our Formula USA bikes also meet the rules for the AMA Formula Xtreme class, and we expect to make a big impact in that series as well.
"We've had a good run in the WERA National Endurance Series and we appreciate the good job WERA has done over the years. As anybody who has raced against Team Suzuki Endurance knows, winning endurance races is anything but easy. Unfortunately, we made it look easy, simply because we figured out what it took to win those races and were able to gather the necessary resources to mount a serious effort race after race, season after season, championship after championship. After 16 years, it's time for our team to move on."
Team Hammer, Inc. has already renewed contracts with Tray Batey, Grant Lopez and Josh Hayes and is continuing to negotiate with several other riders. The team is exploring the possibility of running in AMA Superbike races, and may field support riders in WERA and NASB events.
Keith Perry will continue as Crew Chief. Jerry Daggett will return as Tray Batey's mechanic and will be joined by new mechanic Tony Romo. Crew members will include Kelly Collopy and Barry McMahan.
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