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Vesrah Racing's Mark Junge arrived in California January 4 to finalize sponsorship deals that will see the team campaign a Suzuki GSX-R1000 in the 2001 WERA National Endurance Series. Junge will co-ride in the events with Glenn Szarek and Chris Ulrich. Szarek co-rode to the 1998 and 1999 WERA National Endurance Championships with SBR, and Ulrich and Szarek both rode the winning Vesrah Suzuki GSX-R750 in the 2000 WERA 24-Hours West.
With Vesrah's 24-Hour win, Ulrich became the first second-generation 24-hour winner in WERA National Endurance Series history. His father, John, won WERA 24-Hour races at Willow Springs and Nelson Ledges in 1984, and co-rode to the WERA National Endurance Championship in 1983 and 1984. Under John Ulrich's guidance, his team went on to win the WERA National Endurance Championship 13 times between 1981 and 1997, including nine years in a row, 1989-1997.
"I think it's gonna be a really good experience," said Chris Ulrich on January 4. "I think if I can learn to ride a 1000 well, then I'll be able to ride anything. It's really nice to carry on a family tradition and I think if we did it long enough we'd probably break more records. I started working the pit board for my dad's team at endurance races when I was 10 years old. I know my dad likes doing endurance strategy and stuff, and I think he's missed it after running a team that won 127 endurance races and 13 WERA National Endurance Championships. I think he'll have fun going to the endurance races again, too. It should be good."
"It sounds great," said Szarek when asked to comment on the new deal January 4. "I think it will go great. If the team puts in half as much effort as they did at the 24-hour--the effort they put in was tremendous--we should do really well. I've got very good teammates, and this should be a nice deal."