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Feb 16, 2001

Jason Pridmore To Race Le Mans 24-Hour On GSX-R1000 With World Championship-winning Team

Attack Suzuki's Jason Pridmore is slated to ride in the 24-Hours of Le Mans Endurance World Championship race with the reigning World Endurance Champions Phase One Endurance. In a February 15th call to Roadracing World, Pridmore said, " It just got confirmed yesterday. I'm confirmed and committed for the Le Mans 24-hour. I raced for (Phase One) in '97 at the Bol d'Or. We've just kept in touch with each other over the years, and they're a great group of guys. This year I was able to put a package together with them to where I can go over and do it. I might go do four other rounds that I could do on top of Le Mans that don't conflict with AMA races. The ones that don't conflict are Le Mans, Nurburgring, Spa, Oschersleben, and Suzuka. Suzuka is one of the others that I'd really like to do. Then if Willow was to get canceled, the Bol D'Or is that same weekend .So I might go do that if Willow gets canceled. <BR><BR>"I'm going to take Shogun Motorsports with me (as a sponsor). They jumped in and wanted to be a part of it. That's another reason why I wanted to do it. They have a team over here, and Brooks Gremmels is a big sponsor of our school. He's really made our schools what they are over the last two or three years. When I mentioned this to him he was like, ‘How can I get involved?'"<BR><BR>Originally, Phase One had announced that 1995 Endurance World Champion Stephane Mertens was riding for the team. "I think Stephan went to Suzuki France," explained Pridmore. "(PhaseOne) called me at the beginning of last week to see if I would be interested, and I said that I would be interested. The other big reason I wanted to do it is because we haven't had much time to test this (Attack Suzuki) Formula Xtreme bike. And they are going to be running a GSX-R1000 on Ohlins suspension on Dunlop tires which is what I'm running over here. I thought it would be cool to get some time on the bike. I want to make sure that when we go to Sears Point (the first AMA Formula Xtreme round) that I'm ready to do the business on the bike."<BR><BR>Having ridden in a World Endurance race before Pridmore is looking forward to the crowds. " It's sick how many people they get for that event. We can't get them to come out for a sprint race here. It was the same way when I went to the Bol d'Or. It was this humongous spectacle. It was just incredible. I was going down the Mistral straightaway and there were so many barbeques that the smoke going across the track made it a little scary. The enthusiasm and everything about it is just incredible. But I wouldn't do it with just any team. (Phase One is) a great team. I want to go over and win races for them this year. It should be cool."<BR><BR>After an engine failure relegated the team to 23rd overall and ninth in class at the 2000 Le Mans race, Phase One went on to win the Championship with a Suzuki GSX-R750. Phase One will compete in 2001 on a Suzuki GSX-R1000 for Suzuki Great Britain. Suzuki has won three of the last four world endurance titles. Phase One's website, www.phaseone.co.uk lists Aussie Warwick Nowland and Swede Peter Linden returning to the Russell Benney-led squad with 1997 AMA 750cc Supersport Champion Pridmore.<BR><BR>Son of former AMA Superbike Champion Reg Pridmore, Jason's early years in racing included plenty of WERA endurance races. "I did the Willow 24-hour a few times, and I did the Nelson Ledges 24-hour a few times. Oh man, that was ugly, Nelson Ledges," remembered Pridmore. <BR><BR><BR>