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Jun 10, 2013

BEI Racing/Dunlop Development Wins WERA Six-Hour National Endurance Race At Road Atlanta

WERA National Endurance Championship Presented by Lucas Oil: David Anthony (1) on the BEI Racing/Dunlop Development Suzuki GSX-R1000 at Road Atlanta. Photo by Lee Fields, courtesy of WERA.

Team BEI Racing/Dunlop Development Win WERA's 6 Hour Endurance Race At Road Atlanta During Cycle Jam 2013

Billy Ethridge, team owner and final rider for the BEI Racing/Dunlop Development team, rode their Dunlop shod Twigg Cycles Suzuki GSX-R1000 to a one lap margin of victory at the WERA National 6 Hour Endurance race presented by Lucas Oil this past Friday, June 7 kicking off WERA's Cycle Jam 2013 weekend.

WERA held its second round of the National Endurance Series presented by Lucas Oil, a round of the WERA National Vintage Series, multi-regional Pirelli WERA Sportsman Sprints, and the third round of Michelin National Challenge Series Sprints during four action packed race days culminating the WERA Cycle Jam 2013 event at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia, from June 6-9. The weather was sunny to partly cloudy, humid, with the threat of rain all weekend, but the track conditions were fair, making for good lap times on the 2.25 mile full course.

The WERA National Vintage Sprint grids ran Thursday, June 6 in the afternoon were a great lead in to the rest of the weekend's events. The weather coorperated most of the day, some light sprinkles in the afternoon with most of the rain holding off until the very last race of the day. Doug Bowie and Dick Gruhn were the afternoon's top winners taking home two wins each. Bowie got the top spots in 500 GP and 350 GP with his Ducati 250. Gruhn took the wins in Formula 2 Stroke and V3 on his Yamaha 400.

The WERA National 6 Hour Endurance Race presented by Lucas Oil had a combined grid of 22 teams, with classes including Heavyweight Superbike, Mediumweight Superbike, Formula 2, and Trophy Class. The track was green in places from Thursday night's rain, so there were some traction issues, but it was sunny and more rain was holding off. As soon as the green flag dropped, the racing was immediately exciting. The BEI Racing/Dunlop Development team of "Aussie Dave" David Anthony, Chris "Opie" Caylor, Billy Ethridge, and Mark Junge battled the Army Of Darkness team of Chris Peris, Ben Thompson, and Ben Walters Jr on their BMW S1000RR for the lead. A fierce battle for third instantly shaped up between the Honda CBR1000RR mounted MWR Investigations team and the TOBC 600 team riding a Suzuki GSX-R600.

The racing was intense, with these four teams holding on to the top four spots for the entire race, despite any difficulties. BEI Racing/Dunlop Development rider Opie Caylor immediately tried to stretch out a lead, but his progress was halted by a red flag caused by a crash in turn 1on lap 2 of the race. The race was restarted quickly, and once again the BEI Racing/Dunlop Development team tried to build momentum and pull away from Army of Darkness, MWR Investigations, and TOBC 600. Another red flag and some mechanical issues kept BEI Racing/Dunlop Development from pulling away, but they did draw out a 30 second lead over Army of Darkness during hour 2.

The TOBC 600 team of Nick McFadden, Jimmy Merck, and Curtis Murray got around the MWR Investigations team of David Rose, Ian Tetrick, and James Vandehaar and into third overall and held on. Their 600 against a 1000 on that long fast track was a very tall order, but they were staying in third handily. However, the third red flag around hour 3 hit the reset for everyone again, and the race leaders started from scratch again.

As the pit boards flashed and the teams came in for the final stop, BEI Racing/Dunlop Development had squeezed a lap ahead of Army of Darkness, and MWR Investigations pulled back into third. But now it was a battle to beat the rain and get in a good clean last leg. The BEI team had the lead coming out of the pit stop with Billy Ethridge on the bike, with Army of Darkness in pursuit. MWR Investigations got out first and stretched their lead over TOBC 600.

With rain starting to fall on the back straight, BEI Racing/Dunlop Development took the checkers for the win in Heavyweight Superbike and the overall win. The Army of Darkness team crossed the line next, taking second overall and second in Heavyweight Superbike. MWR Investigations stayed ahead of TOBC 600, taking third overall and third in Heavyweight Superbike.

Team owner Billy Ethridge said, "We had no practice on Thursday, so everybody started from scratch. We had a brand new 2013 Suzuki GSX-R1000 that had never been raced, so we had some setup to do while we were racing, and Aussie Dave had never ridden our bike before. Dave was our substitute rider this round for Tim Bemisderfer, who was injured at Talladega. Opie Caylor started the race, and every time we started building momentum, there was a red flag. Next it was Aussie Dave's leg, and we had the chain and sprocket come out of alignment. It was a brand new chain, and it stretched on us, and actually came off while Dave was riding. He pulled off the track in turn 3, put it back on and got the bike into the pits. We did a quick fix so Mark Junge could run a 45 minute leg, and we got the tools together prepared to fix the chain on the next pit stop. Caylor went back out for a full leg, then Aussie Dave, and I rode the final leg. Rain stared coming down on the back straight during the last four laps of the race, but we didn't have an issues from that. We were running the US made Dunlop N-Tec Slicks, and did the entire race on one front and six rears. We averaged 16-18 seconds per pit stop with a rear tire change and fuel. Dave ran the fastest lap of 1:31.077 on lap 153, and solidifying our one lap lead . We were fighting bike set up issues and the red flags kept us from gaining too much of a lead, but we were riding well, and we definitely earned this win. I want to thank our sponsors for backing our racing efforts: Dunlop, Vesrah, Yoshimura, Thermos Man, Spiegler, Arai, Twigg Cycles, Sidi, JRI Shocks, Motonation, Pit Bull, Moto-Heaven/Thrust Company, Chicken Hawk Racing, Dynojet, RK Excel, and Dion Device. I would also like to thank our pit crew for all the effort they put in this weekend. The next round at VIR is going to be a good one."

Other teams scored a bonus when their names were drawn during the Lucas cash giveaway. At every National Endurance round, two team names are drawn per class during the awards presentation and given $250 each. This rounds winners were Heavyweight Superbike: MWR Investigations, Dumas-KWS, Mediumweight Superbike: A-Team Racing, Team HMR, Lightweight: Jolly Roger Racing and Navy SeaBee Team 670.

For a complete list of results and standings, please visit the website: The next WERA National Endurance round will be a 4-Hour held on Saturday, August 2, 2013, at Virginia International Raceway, Alton, VA. The next WERA National Vintage round will be held on July 19-21, 2013, at Mid-Ohio, Lexington, OH.



June 6:

VINTAGE 500cc GP: 1. Doug Bowie (Duc 250) 2. Wayne P. Moore (Hon 325) 3. Anthony M. Mirando (Hon 350)

VINTAGE TWO: 1. Wm. Buff Harsh III (DRI 350) 2. Richard J. Oldakowski (Yam 500) 3. Paul Garland (Yam 250) 4. Charles Gault (Yam 400)

VINTAGE 350cc GP: 1. Doug Bowie (Duc 250) 2. Anthony M. Mirando (Hon 350) 3. Jason Pannell (Hon 350)

VINTAGE FORMULA 500cc: 1. Jim Hinshaw (Kaw 500) 2. Dick Gruhn (Yam 400) 3. Mark Morrow (Yam 400) 4. Wm. Buff Harsh III (DRI 350) 5. Charles Gault (Yam 400)

VINTAGE ONE: 1. Paul Garland (Yam 250)

VINTAGE FORMULA TWO-STROKE: 1. Dick Gruhn (Yam 400) 2. Jim Hinshaw (Yam 421) 3. Mark Morrow (Yam 400) 4. Wm. Buff Harsh III (DRI 350) 5. Charles Gault (Yam 400)

VINTAGE FOUR: 1. Richard J. Oldakowski (Yam 500)

VINTAGE THREE: 1. Dick Gruhn (Yam 400) 2. Wm. Buff Harsh III (DRI 350) 3. Richard J. Oldakowski (Yam 500) 4. Mark Morrow (Yam 400)

VINTAGE FIVE: 1. Scott McCain (Yam 350) 2. Reagan Payne (Kaw 650) 3. Kurt Kesler (Kaw 500)



OVERALL RESULTS: 1. BEI Racing/Dunlop Development (David Anthony/Opie Caylor/Billy Ethridge/Mark Junge), Suz GSX-R1000, Heavyweight Superbike, 188 laps 2. Army of Darkness (Chris Peris/Ben Thompson/Ben Walters, Jr.), BMW S1000RR, Heavyweight Superbike,187 laps 3. MWR Investigations (David Rose/Ian Tetrick/James Vandehaar), Hon CBR1000RR, Heavyweight Superbike, 186 laps 4. TOBC Racing 600 (Nick McFadden/Jimmy Merck/Curtis Murray), Mediumweight Superbike, Suz GSX-R600, 185 laps 5. Dumas-KWS (Francois Dumas/Sean Dwyer/Luie Zendejas), BMW S1000RR, Heavyweight Superbike,179 laps 6. Fluid Racing (Gavin Herrin/J.D. Mosley/Edward Sullivan), Yam YZF-R6, Mediumweight Superbike, 177 laps

HEAVYWEIGHT SUPERBIKE: 1. BEI Racing/Dunlop Development (David Anthony/Opie Caylor/Billy Ethridge/Mark Junge), Suz GSX-R1000, 188 laps 2. Army of Darkness (Chris Peris/Ben Thompson/Ben Walters, Jr.), BMW S1000RR, 187 laps 3. MWR Investigations (David Rose/Ian Tetrick/James Vandehaar), Hon CBR1000RR, 186 laps 4. Dumas-KWS (Francois Dumas/Sean Dwyer/Luie Zendejas), BMW S1000RR, 179 laps

MEDIUMWEIGHT SUPERBIKE: 1. TOBC Racing 600 (Nick McFadden/Jimmy Merck/Curtis Murray), Suz GSX-R600, 185 laps 2. Fluid Racing (Gavin Herrin/J.D. Mosley/Edward Sullivan), Yam YZF-R6, 177 laps 3. Quick Time Cycle (Derrick Cantrell/David Gray/Christian Mieka), Yam YZF-R6, 175 laps 4. Team Coyote (Marlon Boxe/Major L. Long, Jr./Michel Perussault), Yam YZF-R6, 170 laps 5. High Speed Low Drag (Ray Hofman/Joel Spaulding), Hon CBR600RR, 169 laps 6. A-Team Racing (Jason Duplantis/Joseph Gianotto/Josh Murray/Daniel Wallace), Hon CBR600RR, 164 laps

LIGHTWEIGHT SUPERBIKE: 1. TOBC Racing 650 (Christian Crosslin/C. Brian Kcraget /Palmer Kling), Suz SV650, 172 laps 2. Team Cracka (Chris Parrish/Travis Richards/James Stroud), Suz SV650, 169 laps 3. LP3 (Stephen Laffoon/Jesse Perethian/Max Perethian), Suz SV650, 162 laps 4. TWF Racing (Tucker Lancaster/David Sapsis/Dan Sewell/Zoran Vujasinovic), Suz SV650, 161 laps 5. Peace Beast Racing (Adam Beer/Stephen Greene/George McConnel/Brian Mullins/Peter Readey), Suz SV650, 126 laps 6. Jolly Roger Racing (Peter Hupperich/Joe Melandez/Garry Owen), Suz SV650, 124 laps

TROPHY CLASS: 1. CCF Office Solutions (Ronald Gaither/Dave Krier/Kevin Mills/Derek Mugge/Fred Turner, Jr.), Suz GSX-R600, 163 laps 2. Moto Station (Oleg Pianykh/David Purcell), Suz GSX-R1000, 32 laps