TTXGP will be getting an added layer of transparency for 2011, as the Azhar “The Czar” Hussain has put his electric motorcycle racing series rule book up in wiki form, and invited competitors and experts to make, modify, and discuss the regulations that TTXGP competitors will have to adhere to in 2011. Acting as arbitrator and moderator over the wiki is lawyer Harry Mallin, which electric motorcycle fans might know better as Brammofan.
The move to open up and gather input from external sources is a big step for motorcycle racing, and rule making in general. In theory, TTXGP should be able to weigh and balance interests more effectively with a crowdsource writing method. The Czar is critical of the traditional manner in which rules are concocted in closed-door sessions by regulatory bodies (namely the FIM), and then pushed onto competitors with varying degrees of modest feedback.
Besides opening up the rule book, for TTXGP crowdsourcing comes with two distinct advantages. For starters it allows the small organization to focus its limited resources into other areas of the racing series, such as promotion, sponsorship, media, etc. Secondly, it help alleviate growing conflict of interest allegations, which were first brought up here on A&R, and later picked up by the FIM in its negotiations with TTXGP.
Having a rule book that presumably every competitor, supplier, and even fan could contribute to and discuss idea removes perceptions of impropriety in the regulations’s construction. With so many interests and perspectives able to join the discussion on electric motorcycle racing, TTXGP ensures not only that a 360º perspective is added to its rule construction, but also that the series will be able to keep pace with the rapidly changing industry and its technology.
Despite these advantages, the devil is in the details when it comes to implementing a crowdsourcing schema. TTXGP will leave the its wiki open until sometime in August, where it will then sift through the contributions. The finalized rule book will be released in Ocotber at the TTXGP finale in Spain. Hussain has indicated that not every suggestion is going to make it into the rules, and submissions will be initially moderated by Harry Mallin (aka Brammofan).
When he’s not blogging about the Brammo Enertia, Mallin serves as an Assistant Regional Counsel for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Mallin holds a Juris Doctor from The University of Kansas School of Law, and has been active in the electric motorcycle world with his writings. As a lawyer and writer, he makes for an ideal candidate for this chosen role, as a logically and clerically skilled eye will be required to make sense out of competing ideas. However in his selection of Mallin, Hussain again makes the error of mudding the TTXGP waters, and dilutes some of the power found in a crowdsourcing methodology.
Mallin has ties to Brammo CEO Craig Bramscher, and is an adamant fan of the Brammo powercycle. While Mallin’s role as moderator seems to be rooted mostly in weeding out spam, proofing, and other clerical duties, his unofficial involvement with Brammo could be of issue when heated discussions break out during the rule making process.
It should be noted that Brammo has not committed to racing in TTXGP racing series at this point in time.