News 30 Jun 2011

Stauffer and Maxwell form Aussie dream team for Suzuka 8 Hours

Team Honda Racing confirms all-Australian effort for Sakurai Honda in Japan.

Team Honda Racing teammates Wayne Maxwell and Jamie Stauffer will partner together at the Suzuka 8 Hours.

Team Honda Racing teammates Wayne Maxwell and Jamie Stauffer will partner together at the Suzuka 8 Hours.

The 34th annual Suzuka 8 Hours, a round of the World Endurance Championship, presents a rare and immensely exciting opportunity for the Team Honda Racing Riders Jamie Stauffer and Wayne Maxwell.

The pair has been named as the team representing Team Sakurai Honda at this year’s event.

In a break from the traditional team formation of two bikes and a Japanese lead rider, the all-Australian line up of Stauffer and Maxwell will field just one Honda CBR1000RR and form the team in its entirety.

The riders currently race in the Australian Superbike Championship for the factory Honda Superbike team under the guidance of team principle Paul Free, of Motologic.

With the support of HRC behind Team Sakurai Honda and the fact that the riders are teammates already in Team Honda Racing, Stauffer and Maxwell believe the team stands a very good chance of winning.

Both Australian riders have experience at the prestigious Suzuka 8 Hour Race. In 2007 Stauffer teamed up with the late Norick Abe to finish a very strong ninth. That same year, a very busy year for Stauffer, he also won the Australian Superbike Title.

“I am really excited to be returning to Japan to compete in the Suzuka 8 Hour race and I feel honoured that Team Sakurai Honda has chosen Wayne and I to compete as an all-Australian team,” Stauffer said.

“The opportunity for us is fantastic. The team itself is a highly professional and successful team and I believe our chance for a podium is very high.”

In 2010 Maxwell competed with the then Dream RT Sakurai Honda Team at the Suzuka 8 Hour teamed up with Chojun Kameya so he is no stranger to the team.

“Last year I competed with Kameya-san in the Suzuka 8 Hour Race with the Honda Dream RT Sakurai Honda Team which was an incredible experience,” Maxwell said.

“”This year, the team have decided to run an all-Australian team with one CBR1000RR which is definitely an honour. I firmly believe we stand a strong chance to take a podium position.

“The formula is looking good – Team Sakurai Honda is an outstanding team, Jamie and I are current team mates on a CBR1000RR with Team Honda Racing and both Jamie and I have experience at the Suzuka 8 Hour race. Is it a wining formula? I can’t wait to find out!”

When the invitation was extended to Team Honda Racing’s Team Principle, Paul Free for his riders to compete together as the team for Team Sakurai Honda he was understandably very excited.

“When Sakurai-san floated the idea of utilising both our riders in their team to compete at the Suzuka 8 Hour race I was thrilled,” Free said. “The Suzuka 8 Hour race is such a highly regarded and represented event.

“Over the years we have seen some extremely well-known Aussies compete and win this event, and to put the two Team Honda Racing riders out there on an HRC-supported CBR1000RR with a team like Team Sakurai Honda, I believe Jamie and Wayne have a fantastic opportunity to do extremely well in the race.”

The dream begins with testing at the Suzuka Circuit from 12-15 July, with the main event being held later that month on 31 July.

Other Aussies confirmed for the event are Josh Waters aboard the Yoshimura Suzuki with Nobu Aoki and Yukio Kagayama, plus Cameron Donald on the Honda TT Legends squad.