Suffering falling outs with both the Isle of Man TT and the FIM, the TTXGP electric motorcycle series has had to reinvent itself since its first event in back in 2009. A massive collision of three parties all trying to control the next big thing in motorcycle racing, fans of the electric motorcycle racing eventually saw it split over three competing series: the TT Zero race at the Isle of Man TT, the FIM’s e-Power Championship, and of course the TTXGP series.
The resulting fracture created a lack of cohesion in the sport, and created a situation where the heavy-hitters in the electric motorcycle industry would cherry-pick the events they attended, often with no formidable competition alongside them at the starting grid. This not only created a disparity in performance between competitors on any given race day, but also denied enthusiasts the chance to see real head-to-head racing amongst the brands that were dominating the newswires.
A major division in these different electric motorcycle racing series is about to heal itself though, as the FIM and TTXGP have finally come to an agreement on a future joint electric motorcycle racing series.
The plan set forth by the FIM and TTXGP is one of stepping stones, as for 2013 the series will be billed as an FIM World Cup series, and will be a support class at four races in the USA, as well as four races in Europe, with a final race that will be held in Asia, to crown the World Champion (this calendar is very similar to the current TTXGP setup).
For 2014, the series will be bumped to a championship calendar schedule, with six races that will be held over three continents (we imagine those again will be North America, Europe, and Asia). Lastly, in 2015 the series will be given World Championship status, and will run as a stand-alone event with a global calendar, much in the way the TTXGP series was originally envisioned.
“Through this agreement, we are taking another important step towards the growth and promotion of clean electric road racing,” said FIM President Vito Ippolito. “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.”
“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,” added TTXGP Founder Azhar Hussain. “We look forward to working with the FIM on this exciting project.”
As of this time, the new series is still without a name, and its 2013 events list is still forthcoming. That being said, this is a major step in electric motorcycle racing, which until recently has been easy to pass off as a sideshow mired in egos, politics, and a healthy amount of land-grabbing…and that is without commenting on what was taking place on the race course.
With the FIM able to put the electric races at premier venues and events, and the TTXGP marketing the new series to EV enthusiasts and petrol-heads alike, the new forthcoming series appears to take the best aspects from each party’s previous attempts at running an electric motorcycle racing series.
Electric motorcycle racing still has many hurdles to overcome, both from a logistical and operations point-of-view, but also from a racing product perspective, but today’s events are certainly one step, of many still to come, in the right direction.
Source: FIM; Photo: © 2011 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0