The Isle of Man TT is over a century old, historic to say the least. And another chapter has been added to the TT story, the running of the inaugural electric-only TTXGP. In the biggest exhibition of electric-powered racing to date, Rob Barber took the checkered flag on the 1-lap time trial aboard the Team Agni entry. Joining the Anglo-Indian machine on the TTXGP Pro Class rostrum was the German XXL team (rider Thomas Schoenfelder) and the Ashland, Oregon-based Team Brammo (rider Mark Buckley).
TTXGP Pro Class
The favorite after dominating both practice laps, Barber cruised uncontested to the finish with more than a three-
minute advantage over the XXL squad. Turning the famed mountain course with a time of 87.434 mph Barber beat the standing 50cc record at the Isle. The German XXL team has nothing to be ashamed of, however, as it nipped the Agni squad for top speed bragging rights – running through the Isle’s Sulby speed trap at 106.5 mph.
Amongst the notable DNFs in the Pro Class were the Manx-based Team ManTTX, which ran second in the first practice session and was running the TTXGP in the same position before yielding the spot to the XXL squad after retiring from the race. The Oregon-based MotoCzysz, piloted by American Mark Miller, also retired before even reaching the first check point.
On a more positive note for the Oregon teams (two of which are based near Motorcycle USA’s Southern Oregon HQ) was the podium finish for Team Brammo. We test rode the Brammo Enertia before the TTXGP was even conceived and the notion of that machine racing the Isle of Man… it wasn’t anything we could’ve foreseen. Yet the Ashland firm was one of the first to toss their hat into the TT ring and it has paid off with an impressive 2-3 qualifying on Wednesday, followed up by the third-place podium finish on Friday.
TTXGP Open Class
The TTXGP Open Class saw Electric Motorsport’s Chris Heath (left) edge out Barefoot
Motors Chris Petty (right).
Another Ashland, Oregon, squad, Barefoot Motors, nearly scored the victory in the Open Class in a dramatic finish. The first drama for the Barefoot squad came when rider Chris Petty slowed on the final stretch, allowing the California-based Electric Motorsport team entry and rider Chris Heath to cross the line at the top of the timesheet. Officials briefly disqualified Heath, giving the win to Barefoot, before then reversing the decision and keeping the original finishing order intact: Heath, Petty and Team Tork’s John Crellin in third (tragically, Crellin later died during the Senior TT).
The inaugural TTXGP having concluded, the biggest winner is without question Team Agni. A producer of DC motors for various applications, Agni Motors and team leader Cedric Lynch deserve recognition for putting together a design that not only dominated on the track, but did so without the fanfare many other entries enjoyed. As we said in our TTXGP preview, in racing there’s no hiding behind spec sheet claims. Where other rides, like the Motoczysz and Mission One, claimed 150-mph top speeds, the Agni was much closer to hitting its 120-mph claim in an actual race – reaching triple-digit speeds in the aforementioned Sulby speed trap.
The electric players figure to be back in 2010.