Sam Cox Racing takes a new direction in the 2020 Race season
Its no secret that our well-laid plans in 2019 did not deliver the experience we all wished for in the BSB Stock 1000 season. Although we broke PB’s at most circuits and enjoyed some personal and team progress at each round attended, the brutal aspects of racing took its toll on team confidence and the ability to push forward in the series. That we survived and learned as a team reflects our strength of purpose and teamwork.
The BSB STOCK 1000 class has become very competitive. Try as we might to match the costs of competing with some really big names and teams it proved a stretch in 2019 and our decision for 2020 has been made in relation to reason, desire to compete equally and getting back to the kind of racing which we enjoyed throughout our time in the Triumph Challenge i.e. on a level playing field that is fully accessible to us. Our main sponsors (Echelon) are also delighted we are prepared to tamper with the exotic equipment that only comes from Italy! Ducati it is then…….
So the Ducati Tri Options is just that series and will provide an interesting stepping stone to regain our mojo as a team and rider. Sam #31 has always been a racer known for aggressive passes, steady and strategic race craft and the ability to win and podium as well as good endurance in fitness. Our hopes are that by providing a good opportunity to make the front rather than building from the middle, the adrenalin of the win will break our tempered approach.
Of course the Ducati series is probably cheaper overall with less rounds (8 instead of 12) and a restriction on tyres used (Max 4 instead of 7). These details matter as there is no point spending so much money in a class where our returns are less cost effective and the fun value is all but dissipated.
First job is to sell our beloved Suzuki. The bike has performed really well all season. Pushing out the same 190 BHP on the BSB dyno without a glitch and providing us with self tuning learning opportunities and a cheaper Suzuki supported refresh and service programme. Our support from Maxton has been excellent and the suspension supplied both responsive and tunable too.
The Ducati has proven itself well in the series so far. The new model, officially badged the V2, has been ordered and will provide some interesting mechanical lessons no doubt. News that some of the Ducati series bikes were suffering cooling issues has been discounted on the back of less than favourable servicing and care with Radiator clean and purging. Obviously exotic bikes like the V2 will have its idiosyncrasies but we have learned to prep fully for race weekends and our checking has become exacting to offset any early minor issues before they become major.
We have now to complete the change. Build the bike. Build the team and then test in time for the first round at Silverstone in April. Wish us luck, its going to be an interesting ride!
We are building the team for 2020 now. Any support welcome. We are looking to develop our sponsor base among commercial and private companies that would like further exposure in the BSB Paddock. A great place to bring clients and customers for an exciting day out with our own bespoke hospitality and paddock rights on offer. Get in touch!
Sam Cox & Team
DUCATI TRI OPTIONS SEASON TAKING SHAPE
Following the decision to go into the Ducati Tri Options Championship before Christmas, we have had a lot of work and some real challenges to swap out our entire Stock 1000 bike and spares and indulge ourselves with new Italian exotica.
We sold the GSXR fairly quickly (Good luck Mike) and are slowly realising value from all the spares built up over the season. A rather sad affair but the nature of the game is to get funds together to complete the purchase and build of the V2. With the excellent support from our main sponsor Echelon Consultancy onboard we have to get this done by the end of February.
Collection of the V2 was achieved on Feb 11th. The Ducati arrived at the dealers (Motorapido) and then with Akrapovic exhaust fitment, map installation and other minor tweaks it was ready to travel home.
With the V2 being a new Ducati model (and more different than a few tweaks and dials) all the aftermarket suppliers have to redesign items such as fairings to suit. This is why we have no race bodywork to date and are sweating on its production and delivery in time to successfully fit for the first test in Spain. Update: not arrived! Thanks to Gav Little for lending a spare.
Chasing down parts is a challenging task. The rear single sided swing arm requires either a new spare wheel for qualification purposes from Ducati at over £800 or a second hand one from an ex Ducati Supersport model at £300. The only place these are found is mostly in the USA and with delivery and customs costs this pumps the price further. Still a bargain at 50% less than new however. Now sorted.
A useful supplier is Tom Tunstall (BSB Stock 1000 rider) who runs Spider parts and he has provided a collection of bolt on goodies to add to the V2 as soon as it arrives in our rural workshop: Rearsets, Tank Cap, Yoke stops and other goodies.
Our relationship with GB Racing has produced some heavy discounting on engine protection and we are chasing a similar deal with JT Sprockets who may be generous enough to sort our gearing needs. Hel have been fabulous and given us a free set of braided brake lines in a natty bright blue colour.
On the braking front we have found that the Brembo Z04 prices for pads have gone up nearly 30% for the V2 in comparison with the GSXR. We find it hard to make our funds stretch the season so testing in Spain will involve looking at alternative pads that have just as good performance and are demonstrably cheaper. Testing in Spain will involve a lot of suspension set up and chassis related analysis and a blind but fair brake pad test will help establish our future stopping power decisions.
This year we have elected to try Ohlins all round. Having found a well priced Ohlins TTx shock we have splashed a bit more on a set of 30mm Nix cartridges for the front. Last year Maxton delivered an excellent product and really exceptional paddock support and we will be ever thankful to Richard Adams for this. We also know George and Andy from Kais suspension so they will have to suffer our likely need for ideas when the V2 wont go where its told!
Over the winter we have added another 45% of awning space to the marquee. GH Awnings serviced and replaced the roll out roof and mechanism and then built an extension to the truck rear. The whole thing looks great and will greatly assist the team when we have visitors and guests to accommodate.
Thanks to Intact Electrical in supporting our awning development but also welcome to Gavin Little MD who will be throwing his hand into competing in the Ducati Championship too. As an ex Triumph Challenge competitor he is returning to racing to have some fun again at BSB level. We are all travelling to Andalucia circuit soon with his earlier 959 alongside our new V2 so it will be very interesting to bed both bikes and riders in together.
Our final V2 dyno check and tweeking has gone to JHP Ducati in Coventry. Customer service there has been excellent. Probably the best support one could hope for. Very friendly and knowledgeable people and with the top man Rick Hackett on our case we sorted a few minor issues which could have been a problem on track. They are now our preferred technical support for this season.
We leave for Spain today so hopefully some positive days in the sun will enable us to begin the Tri Options series in April with some good set up information and a feel for this new machine.
Wish us luck as ever!
Sam & Team SCR