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.