A unified electric road racing world championship is taking shape, with the FIM and TTXGP announcing an agreement to join forces for 2013 and beyond. The as-yet unnamed e-racing series will continue to be run as a support class as it transitions into its own FIM Championship series.
The agreement appears to bury the hatchet between the rival TTXGP and FIM, which split to form rival series after the inaugural TTXGP race at the Isle of Man in 2009. The FIM developed its own e-Power series, run at select World Endurance rounds, while the TTXGP developed regional championships – in North America, Europe and later Australia – with a world finale. The Isle of Man TT would go on to develop its own electric race, the TT Zero, independent of either sanctioning body.
A union of the TTXGP and FIM is welcome news for electric motorcycle racing. The fractured e-racing efforts in recent years have produced lackluster starting grids. In some cases the TTXGP North American rounds couldn’t even produce enough entrants to fill the finishing podium.
Immediate plans for the proposed unified series will see 2013 follow the TTXGP format: four rounds apiece for the European and North American championships (the Australian TTXGP is dropped), with a single world finale in Asia to determine a World Cup winner.
In 2014 the series transitions to traditional World Championship format, where title determined by points accumulated. At least six events are promised on the 2014 calendar, which will run as support classes/events to FIM road racing series. The 2015 schedule is billed as featuring “all-electric World Championship weekends across three continents as the main event.”
A press release announcing the new accord quotes TTXGP founder Azhar Hussain: “This partnership with the FIM clears the way for a single destination for all the world’s innovators to drive the next generation of technologies for competitive motor sport beyond the grid. We look forward to working with the FIM on this exciting project”.
Said FIM President Vito Ippolito: “Through this agreement, we are taking another important step towards the growth and promotion of clean electric road racing. The FIM is committed to furthering sports events for electric motorcycles which will certainly be a major component of the motor sport of the future”.
Brammo Empulse racer Eric Bostrom at Thunderhill against internal combustion rival. The Empulse is homologated for racing against ICE bikes in the AFM racing series.
AFM Homologates Brammo Empulse
More electric motorcycle racing news was made when the AFM series homologated the Brammo Empulse to race alongside internal combustion bikes in select racing classes. The west coast-based AFM features rounds at California circuits – the 2013 calendar scheduling rounds at Buttonwillow, Sonoma and Thunderhill.
Brammo reps state that the company’s Empulse TTX, Empulse R and Empulse RR have all been homologated for the AFM series. The company feels the EV technology has developed enough to be competitive with ICE rivals. Brammo also cited the high competition and increased grid sizes in the AFM as an attractive inducement to race.
Brammo plans to race select rounds on the 2013 schedule as a development year, debuting at Sonoma and at least one of the Thunderhill rounds. They are optimistic that as the season unfolds, more teams and privateers will join the electric ranks against the gas-powered opposition. The Brammo model class homologation listings are listed below. (Read more on the Brammo Empulse R in MotoUSA’s 2013 Brammo Empulse R Motorcycle Review.)
Brammo Empulse TTX and Empulse R:
Formula 40 Lightweight
Brammo Empulse RR:
Formula 40 Middleweight
Brammo racing at Thunderhill: (L to R) Shelina Moreda on Empulse TTX, Eric Bostrom on Empulse R, Alan Cunningham on 500 Twins, Jonathan Forman on 450 Superbike, and Mark McKinney on 250 Superbike.