The second running of the TT Zero at the Isle of Man TT, made for the Isle’s third electric racing occasion on the Manx island. With 2011 being the 100th year of the Isle of Man TT running over the fabled Mountain Course, all eyes were focused to see if the fitting 100 mph barrier would drop as the electrics made their race today. Heavily favored were the bikes from the Segway MotoCzysz Racing team, which brought a modified version of its 2010 MotoCzysz E1pc that was being raced again by last year’s winner Mark Miller, as well as the company’s new 2011 MotoCzysz E1pc that Michael Rutter would swing a leg over. Also on the Isle was MotoCzysz rival Lightning Motorcycles, an entry from Japan, and a bevy of strong university teams.
Though the race was quietly made, the MotoCzysz crew was here to make an impression, and did so with its one-two finish. With Mark Miller starting off first, the race saw Miller’s teammate Michael Rutter quickly catch up to the American, as the pair continued down the course in tandem. Though you wouldn’t know it from looking at the 18 second gap that separated the two at the finish line, the MotoCzysz bikes could be seen drafting off each other down the course, trading places on whom was in front of the other.
Rutter would ultimately cross the line with a winning time of 22’43.608, making for a 99.604 mph average lap speed — just shy of the 100 mph barrier. Miller would finish a close second, averaging 98.288 mph over the Mountain Course, which was an improvement over his time last year. In total eight bikes would start the race, though only five officially finished.
Coming in third was the ION Horse 2011 / Kingston team with a 88.435 mph average speed, which also won the prize for being the top university team, beating out MIT who finished fourth. Rounding out fifth was the Japanese team of Team Prozza. Crossing the line under human power was Lightning Motors, which ran out of energy at the latter part of the course, and saw a heroic effort by rider John Burrows to bring the bike across the line for the American team.
When told he had not broken the record, Rutter replied: “99.6mph – that’s the story of my life. I tried to conserve battery life and stay smooth. It’s a totally different way of riding, but I really enjoyed it. We only saw the bike on Wednesday, so I think if we had more time there would be more to come set-up wise.” Meanwhile teammate Mark Miller was happier about the record standing, vowing to break it himself next year.
Source: IOMTT; Photo: © 2011 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0