After the DNF at the last round at Bovington where we destroyed an engine through water ingress we knew that a championship class win was out of our hands, Neil in the other Yamaha YXZ1000R has driven too well all season for that to happen, but at least a Yamaha was to be victorious in its maiden season and we weren’t unhappy with our second place for what was a new car with zero development data on it. We decided to ditch the turbo kit, it just didnt add any real power to the car without generating issues of heat and delivery so thats gone into the work in progress bin for the moment.
As a result we decided to use the last race to test some different tyres on the car in preparation for the 2017 season. The Toyos have been brilliant all year but part of our role as a manufacturer team is to develop the car for customer racing so we took along 3 more sets of tyres from other suppliers to try out.
The last race was at Walters Arena, a dedicated rally testing site and it was fantastic, the course was flat out in places and rough as you like in others so after the first sighting lap we knew we were in for some fun. I say ‘we’ as we werent alone, joining us in his first ever BCCC race was Darren, in his Yamaha YXZ1000R we’d completed for him just a few weeks before.
This of course is an integral part of our racing program with Yamaha – the development, supply and support for owners to race their YXZ1000R cars, but more of that later.
The first few runs were steady and pretty much on the pace but the revelation was Darren, his first runs in a new build car and he was fast, very fast, it was great to see.
Pretty soon the large grid of 38 cars was taking its toll on the course, it was getting rougher and rougher and after a little while we starting losing bodywork, lots of it. First of all we lost both front mud guards then we managed to shatter the rear mud guard frame so overnight we needed to do some welding to get it sorted. Darren was also having issues, mainly with trees, pushing a little hard meant each run he came back with more crash damage, but the crew worked well and we got both cars out, on time for each run.
Next day was a case of two stories, for us, carry on the tyre testing and get some data whilst making sure we got a decent finish and for Darren a quest to see if he could better the time of the RZR which with its higher power was simply quicker on the wide open parts of the course. Well, mission pretty much accomplished on both parts, we ended the event with a 6th place overall and Darren got under 11.30 for a final run time, impressive so we end the season on a decent high – results and cars.
For a maiden season, in a new works team and a new car we couldnt be happier. We couldnt take the class championship but another Yamaha did and thats what counts. The teams first year role to take a brand new car and develop it to a race winner with near 100% reliability was well and truly accomplished, we are proud of that.
Next season the teams roles changes a little, we will continue to develop the car for racing, this time we will be running a pair of Sport Shift models to test the longevity of the paddle shift system for Yamaha to confirm its suitability for competition but we also try and redevelop the turbo charger system to give the car a worthwhile power increase without the other issues. The real change of course is the launch of the new Yamaha Customer Racing Program – this new program concentrates on supporting Yamaha customers race their own car. Further details can be found here: yxzracing.co.uk/customer-racing but the program is designed to allow Yamaha owners to compete in their own car without worrying about spares or support – we are there to do that for you.
No end of season report would be complete without the thanks to our partners. Toyo Tyres, HRX race suits and seats, Team Dynamics wheels, Cartec battery cut offs and rain lights and of course Yamaha. It took some guts to commit the YXZ1000R so wholeheartedly to a full championship in its first year but I’m delighted to show that Yamaha’s own belief in its product shone through. Here’s to 2017 and multiple Yamaha YXZ1000R race cars in multiple championships.