With less than a week to go until AFT's 2023 season opener, it was finally officially announced that Briar Bauman (Texter-Bauman?) and Shayna Texter-Bauman will be riding KTMs this season.
Briar will be on an 890cc Duke-based SuperTwin, while Shayna is back in AFT Singles on a 450. Both are riding for the new-to-AFT, Rick Ware Racing team.
Currently, Rick Ware Racing fields entries in top-level two- and four-wheeled racing in the NASCAR Cup Series, IndyCar, NHRA (Top Fuel), IMSA (LMP2), AMA Supercross and FIM World Supercross Championships. These respective schedules will see RWR compete in seven different countries all over the world.
'This is another step for RWR in growing our marketing value and expanding with new sponsors.' said Rick Ware. 'We’re looking forward to joining the AFT series and chasing wins with Championship-caliber riders. Shayna and Briar are welcome additions to the existing RWR driver/rider roster and we can’t wait to see what they can do.'
The Rick Ware Racing team won the FIM World Supercross Championship last year in their first foray back into two-wheel racing in over a decade. The team owner says, 'My expectation is for this program to be just as successful.'
Briar came second to Jared Mees in 2022, beating both the hard-charging Yamahas of Daniels and Beach. He is the third rider to be confirmed on KTM in the SuperTwins class, with his brother, Bronson, and 2022 Production Twins champ, Jess Janisch, both confirmed on the Austrian parallel twins. There was on word on how much testing Briar had done on the twin.
Shayna struggled on the Indian FTR750 SuperTwin in 2022, scoring just one top ten finish all season. She will perform much better on a single, and she knows the KTM well, having been a factory rider as recently as 2021. She finished eighth in the standings that year, with two wins, both at the Volusia HM.
While Briar will be backing himself for a title challenge, it's hard to see Shayna taking the number 1, simply because there are four TTs on the schedule, and her results at those races have historically been weak. The series is so competitive that dropping four rounds and still having a serious chance of winning the title are very, very slim. She'll be in with a shout for wins at miles and half-miles though.
The season kicks of at Daytona with a short track double-header on 9-10 March. That's this Thursday and Friday. Head to Americanflattrack.com for ticket, event and livestreaming information.
Photo: Scott Hunter/AFT