24 teams confirmed to compete in TTXGP
TTXGP, billed as "the world’s first zero-carbon Grand Prix", has signed up 24 teams from seven different countries to compete in its inaugural race. The event on 12 June 2009 is part of the traditional Isle of Man TT programme of motorcycle road races.
Alongside teams from the UK and the Isle of Man, there are representatives from Italy, USA, India, Germany and Austria.
TTXGP founder Azhar Hussain said: “We are thrilled with the high level of interest the TTXGP has generated globally, and the superb quality of teams that will be involved in our first zero-carbon race.”
The event was launched less than a year ago, in June 2008, giving teams a very tight timescale to attract sponsorship and put a project together. Hussain said many would-be entrants that could not quite make the deadline were planning to enter in 2010.
Although internal combustion engines are permitted, carbon-based fuels are not, and neither are toxic emissions of any kind. Many of this year's entrants have opted for electric propulsion.
Entries to the race range from the US-based Mission Motors team, which claims its electric superbike, Mission One, can reach speeds of up to 150mph, through to the Isle of Man’s own entry.
Seven-times TT winner Mick Grant will ride for the British EVO Design Solutions team. Rick Simpson, director of EVO Design Solutions, commented: “Our EV-0 RR and EV-0 R entries will highlight the all-British design and manufacture aspect of our race team. The motor, chassis and control systems used by our team are all developed and built in the UK.”
A number of UK universities and colleges are getting involved. Brunel University, Kingston University and Imperial College London are all developing electric race bikes and hope to provide some serious competition to the more commercial US teams.
As well as Mission Motors, US teams include MotoCzysz, Barefoot Motors and Brammo, makers of the Enertia electric bike.
All riders entering the TTXGP have had to meet the necessary criteria laid out by the Auto-Cycle Union (ACU), the body responsible for regulating rider entries to the Isle of Man TT races.
The list of riders taking part includes seven-times TT winner Mick Grant; Ollie Linsdell, winner of the 2007 Northwest 200, beating John McGuiness's lap record in the process; Tom Montano, who has previously raced the fastest MV Agusta in the history of the Isle of Man TT races; Dan Kneen, who made history in the 2008 Manx Grand Prix by being the first person ever to win three races in a week; Paul Owens, one of the stars of the PlayStation 2 game ‘TT Superbikes Real Road Racing Championship’; and Maria Costello, Guiness World Record holder for fastest female lap of the TT circuit.
One team is based on the Isle of Man itself. ManTTx team leader Keith McKay said: “We're not in this just to save the planet. We're in this to put a winning motorcycle under a winning rider and win the race.”
In terms of technology, the use of lithium-ion batteries is a common theme running through many of the teams’ bike entries, but that’s where the similarity ends. Some teams have incorporated the use of regenerative braking, another first in racing terms, while the Imperial College London bike incorporates a fully recyclable composite material in its body work.
The IET is the official technical advisor to TTXGP, and is providing panel of experts from the academic and commercial sectors to act as scrutineers, ensuring the bikes meet the technical and safety requirements.
TTXGP teams and riders:
Mission Motors (USA): Thomas Montano
MotoCzysz (USA): Mark Miller
Kingston University (UK): Maria Costello
KillaCycle Racing/Lightning Motorcycles (USA): Alan Connor
eROCKIT (D): Rigo Richter
eROCKIT (D): David Madsen-Mygdal
Imperial TTxGP (UK): Chris Palmer
Brammo/BIKE (USA): Roy Richardson
Team Agni (UK/INDIA): Robert Barber
HTBLAUVA – TGM (AU): Martin Loicht
Cool World Team (USA): Steve Macdonald
Cool World Team (USA): Antonio Maseo
ManTTx Racing (IoM): Dan Kneen
TORK (INDIA): Garth Woods
Barefoot Motors Racing (USA): Chris Petty
XXL (D): Thomas Schoenfelder
EVOdesign (UK): Ollie Linsdell
EVOdesign (UK): Paul Owens
Electric Motorsport (USA): Chris Heath
Electric Motorsport (USA): Marie Hodgson
Brunel X-team (UK): Steve Harper
Rondine Racing Team (IT): Alessio Corradi
EVOdesign (UK): Mick Grant