TTXGP, FIM e-Power finally working together

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It’s been in the works for months and now it looks like they’re announcing before the exact agreement has been worked out. TTXGP and its copycat FIM e-Power are collaborating on select races for the 2011 season (schedule below). The collaboration (don’t call it a partnership or merger, yet) is one of those painfully common sense things that was sadly made difficult by the egos involved. In fact, Ivar called for just such a merger/partnership in an editorial last August. Why, beyond electric nerd geekery, is this such big news? It means better racing, larger fields, more complete events and more media coverage. It means we’ll be seeing bikes like the MotoCzysz E1pc (we’re confirming this) on the same track at the same time as bikes like the Brammo Empulse RR, Mission R and an as-yet unrevealed bike built by an HFL contributor.

The quick background on the whole  FIM/TTXGP split is that they were planning on working together on a series, something went wrong, FIM stole TTXGP’s rules and there was bad blood. Both race series sucked last year with empty fields, slow bikes and boring racing, but e-Power ended up sucking harder, especially in Europe where starting grids were virtually empty and scooters were on track with proper motorcycles.

The one notable exception was the e-Power round at Laguna MotoGP last year, which saw Michael Czysz come from way behind to eek out an exciting win. Even that race wasn’t promoted properly.

As Ivar stated last August, “In simple terms: FIM have money, power and organisation. TTXGP have enthusiasm and a wider view than just racing – essential to anyone who wants to see the best possible electric street bikes as soon as possible.”

Here’s TTXGP’s 2011 schedule:
TTXGP Euro Championship 2011 calendar is as follows:

18-19.06 Silverstone (GBR)

01-02.07 SPA Francorchamps (BEL)

06-07.08 Assen (NLD)

20-21.08 Donington Park (GBR) TBC

03-04.09 Karlskoga (SWE)

23-24.09 Le Mans (FRA) TBC

TTXGP North America Championship 2011

14-15.05 Infineon Raceway (USA)

16-17.07 Portland International Raceway (USA) (TBC)

Round 3 TBC

13-14.08 VIRginia International Raceway (USA)

eFXC/TTXGP Australian Superbike Championship 2011

29-01.05 Wakefield Park Raceway (NSW) TEST

01-03.07 Eastern Creek Raceway (NSW)

02-04.09 Winton Raceway (VIC)

08-09.10 Wakefield Park Raceway (NSW) TBC

TTXGP World Final 2011

October TBC

The most tantalizing date on that calendar is actually the TBC between the July 16-17 race in Portland and the August 13-14 dates at VIR. Is there room in there for a Laguna event on July 22-24? The FIM e-Power calendar doesn’t include a single American date.

There’s also virtually no details of how the FIM and TTXGP actually plan to work together. The only mention of it is this paragraph:

“In the spirit of collaboration and with the common goal of promoting electric clean emission racing; The FIM and TTXGP have opened the possibility of holding a selection of joint rounds to allow the teams the best possible stage to promote the sport, the technology and the message to the next generation of motorsport. In addition, further discussions also include the wish to celebrate the conclusion of the 2011 season with a single, unifying final event in October.”

We’re looking into this further.

  • aristurtle

    If they’re still excluding Chip Yates, then fuck ‘em.

    Chip has the right idea anyway: you don’t want electric bikes to only race against other electrics; that gives the impression that they aren’t as good. You want electric bikes to race against (and beat!) gas-powered bikes.

    • Wes Siler

      I don’t think it’s a case of excluding chip anymore, he’s enjoying racing against the gas bikes.

  • DougD

    Lame-o. No race in Elkhart Lake!?

    • Wes Siler

      I think they’re trying to focus on making the core events as well-attended in terms of entries as possible.

  • HammSammich

    Hmmm…Might have to make the trip to PDX…although I’ll have to decide if I want to go for the Vintage motorcycle races or wait for the TTXGP…Sucks that the nearest race track of any stature is almost 300 miles away.

  • fasterfaster

    If the “as-yet unrevealed bike” is ours, then I should let you know we don’t intend to compete in that series. If it isn’t ours, then I can’t wait to see the new entrant. I love that there is so much movement in this space.

    • Wes Siler

      Ha, it’s not yours.

  • Devin

    I’m excited for Portland, finally a race I can attend without taking two days off to get to Cali and back! Give the Pac NW some love.

  • Brammofan

    Exciting news to me. Any chance that Ivar will be writing about this for you?

    • Wes Siler

      Ivar or someone else intimately knowledgeable about the situation.

  • Chris

    It’s not really fair to say the races ‘sucked’ – at least, not the TTXGP. I don’t know if any of the HellforLeather team went to any of the 2010 UK or European rounds (Brands Hatch and Albacete in particular) but I thought they compared remarkably well against the ICE races they were running alongside. In particular, the CRP bike and the Muench looked pretty fast …

    One individual involved in both US and Euro rounds said the level of racing was much more intense in the latter. Though I gather a lot was learnt from the US races that went into the ones in the UK and Europe. As Ivar and Brammofan mentioned, the tech-sharing in the paddock – and the wiki-rules system – meant that all the bikes (and races) improved significantly over the course of the year.

    While it’s obviously good news that there shouldn’t be two competing series in 2011 – I think that for now, maintaining this spirit of cross-fertilization is going to be the most important factor in getting electric bikes up to gas levels of performance.

    It also bears remembering that while many of those involved are electronics engineers and programmers – okay, geeks – a number of the riders are professional or semi-professional superbikers, and even GP veterans. (The 2010 TTXGP UK champion, Agni’s Jenny Tinmouth, has gone on to ride an RSV4 in this year’s British Superbikes.) In general, proper racers have been much readier to get on board with electric than you’d guess from reading most of the motorcycling press.

    With the honourable exception of Wes and HfL, of course!