The factory Am Pro Yamaha race team, one of the most successful off-road racing teams over the last few seasons, is ready for 2005—and beyond. Team Manager Randy Hawkins, the 2004 AMA National Enduro Champion, has shaped a winning team with himself, eight-time GNCC Champion Barry Hawk and two-time AMA National Hare Scrambles Champion Jason Raines. All three will be back on Yamahas in 2005, and they will be joined by two promising amateurs and two veteran ATV racers.
“We have a new two-year deal with me, Barry and Jason as Yamaha’s factory GNCC effort,” says Hawkins. “They are priority one, but we are looking toward the future by picking up two amateurs. But we wanted the riders to earn it.”The amateur team features Ohio prospect Charlie “Hot Rod” Mullins, who earned GNCC overall number 15 in the 2004 GNCC Series, and West Virginia’s “Bad” Thad DuVall, who collected his second-straight GNCC Overall Youth Title last year on his Yamaha YZ85. Mullins will race a YZ250 in the 250A class, and DuVall will race a YZ125 in 200B.”Thad has been with us since the mini ranks, and Charlie Mullins has been riding very well, and we like his demeanor and personality,” said Hawkins, who also groomed Hawk and Raines into champions. “And the speed is there with these kids. We’re planting our garden early. With Thad at 15, Charlie at 18, Jason at 26 and Barry at 32, we can be championship contenders for the next ten years.”Yamaha has stepped up their support for the Am Pro team in 2005, allowing Hawk and Raines to reap the benefits of their success over the last two seasons, which included winning 14 GNCC events over the last two seasons, a GNCC title, a National Enduro Title, and two National Hare Scrambles titles. Yamaha’s additional backing also allowed them to pick up DuVall and Mullins.”We want to stay involved with the team and Yamaha for a long time,” said Hawkins. “We think these two guys are the next Jason and Barry. We hope some of the other teams will make the effort to work with youth like this.”Am Pro will also back two ATV racers, Thad’s father Chad DuVall who is GNCC Overall ATV #5 and the 2003 GNCC Pro Production ATV Champion, and Pennsylvania vet Jeff Miller who will contest the Pro Am class for the team. Both riders will race Yamaha YFZ450s.Hawk is especially excited about his prospects for ’05. The former GNCC Champion ended the ’04 season with three-straight wins, two of them on the all-new 2005 YZ250. Raines won the 2004 National Hare Scrambles title and finished second in last year’s GNCC Series. He underwent shoulder surgery in the off-season, but he’s back on the bike and deep into his legendary pre-season training regimen.For 2005, the Am Pro Yamaha team is backed by MSR, Factory Connection, FMF, Bridgestone, Pro Taper, GYT-R, Yamalube, Wiseco, Cycra, Cycle Gear, Motion Pro, GPR, RK Chain, Cytomax, CTi Knee Braces, Zip-Ty, TM designs, Ironman Sprockets, Stealthy, EBC Brakes, IMS, Gearne, VP Fuel, Race Tools, V-Force, Twin Air, Pro Clean, Specialized Bicycles and Titan Industries.