Posts Tagged ttxgp
Thanks to Wes Siler, Azhar Hussain, Brian Wismann, Alex Tang, and others for helping me with an article on the subject of the TTXGP and the tantalizing idea of a spec class to help fill the grid. Pick up a copy of Hell For Leather Magazine at your local news stand, or just read it on their website. If you don’t subscribe, however, you’ll miss out on the skewering I expect to receive in the comments. Pony up the cash, as it’s well worth the cost of admission.
Over on the Brammo Owners Forum, the regulars were dissecting the picture, above, of the Empulse RR dashboard taken last weekend during Brammo’s triumphant return to the world of electric motorcycle road racing. What is the big number “3″ for? Is the “1.58.8″ the lap time? Does the “45″ represent miles per hour or perhaps state of charge of the battery?
Thank goodness that Brian Wismann, Brammo Director of Product Development, dropped in to clear things up:
You got it mostly figured out. The GPS timing is accurate within about 50ft of the start/finish, so the time displayed for the previous lap is +/- .2s. This photo was obviously either from one of the practices or maybe the first race based on the time displayed there. The 47 is the speed and you can see the motor rev counter above it. The 72 is just indicating the minutes of data acquisition logging still available before the internal memory runs out. This system has been instrumental (ha!) in understanding the effects of changes to the system and ultimately bike performance.
RUNLA = Run lap timer. There are various display modes. Best sector time, Best lap time, Last Lap Time, etc, etc… . If there were a problem with the motor or battery, you would see a warning displayed here instead.
Here’s another close up, taken during a later lap:
According to a tweet on Monday morning by Wismann, the Brammo bike was intentionally operating at 85% power. Even at 15% below max, the bike shattered last year’s TTXGP track record, held by the ZeroAgni bike. Kudos to Steve Atlas, rider for this weekend’s races at the A123 Infineon Round of the TTXGP North American Championship series. Not only is he pretty handy with a bike, he’s a marksman with a bottle of champagne:
It’s not clear when we’ll see Brammo next. In about a month, the TTXGP race at the New Hampshire International Speedway at Loudon will be held. A month later, the show returns to the left coast with a race scheduled for Portland International Raceway for July 17, and another the next week at Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. The historic pairing of TTXGP and FIM e-Power at Laguna is a great thing (we hope) and a real “kum-ba-ya” moment which may end up overshadowing anything that happens the week before at PIR. I think it’s a safe bet that we’ll see Brammo at the track in July. Just not clear, yet, which track or tracks it will be.
What is clear is that Brammo’s two wins last weekend ended up winning them 50 points in the race to the championship round, wherever that may end up. LeMans is another joint race with FIM that will occur on September 23 -24. Whether that will serve as the World Championship isn’t clear to me, as there is actually another race that occurs the next month in Australia. This “lack of clarity” is nothing to be alarmed about. If there is one thing I’ve learned during my extensive (irony intended) experience with the sport, it is early in the electric motorcycle racing season and tracks and dates are bound to change.
“Divide and Conquer” is a good guess for Brammo’s mantra of the week. According to Brammo’s Events Calendar, their race teams will be split between two events:
The TTXGP A123 Race at Infineon Raceway, in Sonoma, California, and
The Monster Energy Grand Prix at Glen Helen Raceway in Devore, California.
The challenge of having a road racing team and a motocross team (all while continuing to be a leader in the nascent industry of electric motorcycles) is going to be apparent this weekend. These two tracks are approximately 450 miles apart. It is likely that Brian Wismann, Director of Product Development at Brammo, will be at the TTXGP event, as he has been a driving force behind the Empulse RR racebike development. The bike will be ridden by Steve Atlas of Motorcycle-USA.com.
It’s not clear who will be the motocross team manager, although Dave Harvey, a long-time Brammo technician, is likely to be front and center, given his love for the dirt. The Brammo Engage, announced last week, will be racing with its innovative 6-speed transmission. Hopefully, the larger track at Glen Helen will allow the bike to show the benefits of a transmission – something that the small track at the MiniMoto event last weekend seemed to limit.
Keep watching this space for news about whether video feeds will be available for either of the events.
Enjoy some of the photos of the Brammo spokesmodels trickling in from the JCAM crew at the Macau Grand Prix. Will update with more pictures as they arrive.
My Brammo-centric obsessive compulsive disorder is working overtime this morning. I just saw this tweet from JCAMJames, who happens to work at JCAM (in Hong Kong, I think):
JCAM is the distributor of Segways and other electric vehicles in Singapore and Hong Kong, and is owned by Jackie Chan, who is in possession of some specially-modified Brammo Enertias he plans to abuse in an upcoming movie, Chinese Zodiac.
Of course, I started wondering about the significance of Macau and November, and a quick search revealed that November 18 – 21, 2010, is the weekend of the Macau Grand Prix. According to the official website:
The three headline races are the FIA Formula 3 Intercontinential Cup, the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix – 44thEdition, and the FIA World Touring Car Championship – Guia Race of Macau, with five supporting races: The Macau GT Cup, Macau Road Sport Challenge, CTM Macau Touring Car Race, Hotel Fortuna MAC/HKG Interport Race, and Formula BMW Pacific.
No mention of any electric motorcycle race there (or on the TTXGP site or the FIM ePower site). But the schedule of the event for Sunday, the 21st, states:
13:45 – 14:45 Special Event
“Special Event”? Is it too OCD of me to notice that JCAMJAMES and the Macau GP folks used the same words?
If you answered “yes,” then you’ll love this: On the Provisional Entry List of riders, is #66 – Mark Buckley. Buckley was the rider of the Brammo Enertia TTR Race Bike that finished third in the inaugural TTXGP on the Isle of Man in June 2009. Maybe it’s just another coincidence.