SCR are entering the 2021 Ducati Tri Options again this year. In 2020 we had a shortened experience over 5 rounds and achieved some promising results on our newly acquired Echelon/SCR Ducati V2.
Lots of data was collected at each round in 2020 making it potentially easier to set the bike up this year ready for each practice/qualy and race sessions. We have had amazing support from Ducati Coventry JHP Racing in our preparation for this season and learned a lot more about the Ducati based idiosyncrasies.
Many thanks also go to DRC Race Leathers for repairing our test suit and preparing a new race suit ready for Round 1 at Donington (WSBK Round). Both stood up to some serious crashes last year and protected #31 Coxxy really well.
Look out for our latest 2021 news here!
Sam Cox #31 Coxxy
OULTON TEST was a test!
Due to Covid our initial season test to Spain in February 2021 had been cancelled. The BSB Championship dates were also being pushed back so that we do not start racing in the Ducati Tri Options until the beginning of July. Strange days and frustrating for the whole team including our sponsors Echelon Consultancy, all itching to get back to the circuits.
With our eyes on a stretched budget we had also decided to not attend any of the very expensive BSB Tests in April and May. These four separate dates have now become pricey days out at £400 entry plus tyres making each excursion a 1K outing. Fine if the track time is good but in the past they have amounted to sitting in the van or garages waiting for either the temperature of track to rise or rain to stop. In the event the first test passed with good weather at Silverstone but there was not much for us to learn there anyway – also the teams were made to use the dreaded ‘special’ Pirelli tyres again and we had good data from 2020 already.
At the Snetterton 2nd BSB test this week the weather again played a big part in cancelling the show with only 2 dry sessions out of 7 so we missed that pleasure as well as the 10 hours driving the truck to get there and back. As it happened we spent the time repairing items on the team vessel ready for some dry use in the summer months.
On to our first track test at Oulton Park recently. We arrived late afternoon and set up the awning. (The bike had been checked over already at Ducati Coventry JHP having all the error codes removed from the ECU and the engine was running normally. The software checks were necessary due to the many electronic items being replaced and repaired since the big crash at Brands in October.)
In the morning with everything looking good, including the weather forecast (or so it seemed) we hoped for some tracktime to shake off the Covid induced cobwebs. Session one on Friday didn’t amount to much as it was wet and cold and we skipped it in favour of the drying conditions. Session 2 out of 7 looked a safer bet. The bike was warmed through as usual, all nuts and bolts checked including pressures and full race checklist. New rearsets had been fitted and despite there being geometry issues with chassis fitment they seemed to work well. On further immediate adjustment to suit the rider position (lower than estimation) it wasn’t possible to select 2nd gear or go up the box either. We have subsequently entered into an Ebay dispute with the manufacturer of these and got a full refund!
Back to the paddock to find that these new rearsets either struck the chassis to the rear of the pushrod or wouldn’t set to the correct rider position because of their faulty geometry. With last years (Spider) set reinstalled our third attempt at tracktime looked promising. However, after one sighting lap #31 came straight back into the pitlane reporting that the dash had gone all ‘White’ but the bike was still running except the quickshifter. Agreeing to run manually and keeping the engine running we finally got some laps in albeit at a tentative pace as the circuit was still not fully dry.
On return to the paddock another inspection revealed the beginning of a day long problem which was never fully solved. The bike seemed dead on the ignition but after disconnecting and reconnecting the battery it came alive again. It also started. Our analysis continued and we considered that either the dash was faulty, there was an electronic breakdown somewhere or a loose connection.
There now followed a frustrating day. Each time we tried to ride the bike around the paddock or to track it resulted in the same response. Partial dash operation and a dead period where there was no electrics at all. We spent hours on Saturday inspecting fuses, connections and the loom. In the end we decided to leave for home as by Saturday afternoon the heavens had opened more than once too. Not a great experience but at least these issues had been discovered before it really mattered in our preparation for BSB.
Once at Ducati Coventry JHP Racing in the week, Rick Hackett had a cursory look over the bike before plugging into the Ducati software. His inclination was to replace the battery (why didn’t WE think of that!). Of course it fired into life and seemed OK again – yet to be fully checked for errors or dyno but a good sign. WHY didn’t we consider the battery? With reason it had been starting the bike fine and was charged prior to leaving for the circuit but Ducatis are known to develop battery problems when left over winter. Ours however was removed from the bike in November and left in storage ready for use. We had checked it once more via voltmeter and there was no reason to suspect impending failure. Batteries can develop faults on their own volition at any time and as we write we hope that was the problem. A £70 battery is ten times cheaper that a new V2 dash!
Our next outing is at Cadwell this coming weekend (15/16th May). A full No Limits race meeting over three days where hopefully we can resolve these issues and get rolling again. We have also a day booked at Brands Hatch on May 26th where many of the Ducati Tri Options bikes are expected to test.
With all our experience coming together with last years Ducati V2 based rider development and data collection we will definitely be in a good position to push for front positions in the Ducati Tri Options Championship. Josh Day will still take some beating as well as Pinson, Best and Chris Walker – yes the Stalker has entered the Championship in 2021 and was running well at Snetterton although he has some work to do make the top 3! It will make for a really interesting mix of talent and great racing.
Thanks for your interest and support, look out for our latest news here and on our facebook page: Sam Cox Racing. If you are interested in getting involved or supporting the team get in touch 07904439270.
Sam Cox & Team SCR