WFR quits British Superbikes
Race winning team WFR announces it is quitting the British Superbike Championship after two successful seasons in the series.
Team WFR has made the unexpected announcement that it is withdrawing from the MCE British Superbike Championship just weeks after producing a title-challenging campaign in only its second season in the series.
WFR made its BSB debut last season in the EVO category, the Myles Schofield-helmed team regularly embarrassing the championship class contenders as Glen Richards romped to the title.
Tipped as a dark horse for the overall title in 2012, though WFR Honda endured a slow start to the season, its rider Alex Lowes sneaked into the 'Title Showdown' and proceeded to shine over the final three rounds as he notched up the team's first wins in style at Silverstone.
With Lowes ending the season in fourth overall and James Westmoreland picking up the BSB Riders' Cup for finishing in seventh place (best of the non-Title Showdown riders), WFR were expected to be formidable contenders in 2013.
However, a shock statement from the team says it will not continue racing next season, a move that will see it withdraw from both the British Superbike Championship and the British GT Championship.
Though no clear reason has been given for the move, team principal Schofield suggests the team wasn't in a position to give '100 per cent' in 2013.
"It's been an extremely difficult decision and one that I have not taken lightly," he said. "I understand that it is very upsetting for everyone concerned, but I believe it is the right decision for the time and that it will give everyone involved with the team the best opportunity to move forward positively from the experience.
"It is not purely a question of budget, although it would be wrong to say that I could continue to run a similar programme to this year, there was certainly strong financial commitment to the Superbikes which could have resulted in another well-funded showing in BSB.
"Unfortunately, in combination with other circumstances, money alone just isn't enough to do a season in BSB justice, and hand on heart I didn't feel 100 per cent certain that I was in a position to do my best - something I have always prided myself and my team on during my time in racing.
"I'd like to thank the various series organisers who we have worked with, including SPEED EuroSeries, the SRO and MSVR in particular, whose organisation of BSB in my opinion makes it the best domestic motor racing series in the world.
"I would also like to thank all the team, the mechanics, fabricators, stores people and engineers who don't always get the glory they deserve. Of course a big thank you to the young gun future superstar drivers Jody Fannin and Riki Christodoulou, and riders Alex Lowes, James Westmoreland and Graeme Gowland. And not forgetting those a little longer in the tooth - Jody Firth, Warren Hughes and Glen Richards who have brought us so much success in our short time.
"I think I can speak for all the team when I say we'd also like to thank our sponsors and suppliers without whose support we would not have achieved so much.
"A special thanks and best wishes too to all of our competitors, it was a pleasure to beat them and an incentive to do better when they beat us.
"And finally, we would like to thank our fans for their support through the good, and the not so good, times."
The statement concluded with the comment that WFR is treating this move as a sabbatical, but admits it is unlikely to return to motorsport in the near future.
"WFR will continue to operate as a business concentrating on its other interests with Myles Schofield heading up a much reduced team. A return to top level motorsport cannot be ruled out, though it is difficult to imagine a speedy change in circumstances that would see WFR run machinery on the grid any time soon.