The 2009 Isle of Man TT will host the world’s first clean emissions Grand Prix. Dubbed the Time Trials Xtreme (ick – ed.) Grand Prix by its creator, Azhar Hussain, it will be an open-formula series of races around the Isle of Man Mountain Course with only one rule: no harmful emissions. It’s that lack of restrictions and the trial-and-error innovation that it will bring that makes the TTxGP really interesting; next June we could see the future of green transportation racing alongside the fastest factory superbikes.
>The racing will take place in three classes around one lap of the 37.7-mile (66,410 yards) course:
- Pro Class: for the fastest bikes with corporate backing.
- Open Class: intended to attract universities and similar teams, the
bikes will have to be built with a not-yet-determined budget.
- Free Class: an exhibition for emerging technologies, this will give
garage inventors and amateurs a chance to showcase their abilities, for
By now you’ve probably noticed all the hedging around the issue of
pollution. While TTxGP’s rules call for “clean emissions” they don’t
look at the energy or pollution cost of the R&D, manufacturing or
the energy needed to lap the course (i.e. racers will be able to juice
up their batteries with sweet, sweet coal-fired electricity if they’d
like). The language is intended to be vague, allowing for a variety of
propulsion methods to be used.
Azhar is hoping that creative freedom will fuel innovation that
eventually trickles down to road-legal production bikes, saying, “F1
has already set the model. ABS, sequential gear boxed, Fuel injection,
paddle sticks…are among the many hundreds of both radical and
incremental technology that has found its way from the racetrack to the
public road. Competition represents an advanced form of rapid
prototyping. The extreme conditions driven by the absolute need for
performance and reliability has proven to be a superb development. The
vision is that the TTxGP will similarly become synonymous with clean
tech that we all be using in years to come.”
As the race draws closer and participants confirm their entries, it’s
expected that more rules and details will be determined. TTxGP hopes to
become an annual fixture at the TT. If things go to plan, it could one
day become the main attraction.