Wednesday, February 8, 2012

New electric car racing series envisioned with American Le Mans

Exciting news about a new electric car race series being mulled.  Quimera (and by extension TTXGP), the International Motor Sports Association and the American Le Mans are working together to launch what may be a global electric car race series.  Going by the press release below the stakeholders mentioned are at the beginning of the process.

They're looking at fielding three classes of electric race car, plus bringing in TTXGP electric motorcycle teams.  It's not typical at all to have two-wheelers and four-wheelers racing at the same venue on the same weekend, because typically two- and four-wheeler's have disjoint fan bases.  It'll be interesting to see how this works out, and if it does.

Quimera's development of the AEGT All Electric GT race car was done in part with support from Mavizen and TTXGP.  When looking at pictures of the AEGT look closely at the logos and you see both TTXGP and Mavizen logo's on the car.

I bring this up because while Quimera's name is listed as being in a joint venture with ALMS and IMSA, Mavizen/TTXGP is working closely with Quimera.

One wonders about how this relates to the electric car race series the FIA was discussing last year, as well as the EVCUP series that was supposed to launch last year.  I hope we don't get into a situation similar to the rancor between TTXGP and FIM's e-Power.

Final thought is to remind the readers that the TTXGP was never entirely about motorcycles.  In 2010 the TTXGP team had planned to hold one or more electric car races under the name EMXGP.  The site used to redirect to, but today is an online handbag store.  Go figure.  Anyway, the EMXGP was an electric car race the TTXGP organization planned to hold in early June 2010 during a time period which coincided with the TT Week that year.  According to some that time conflict was part of the rationalization under which the Isle of Man government booted TTXGP from running an electric motorcycle race during TT Week, and instead launched their own series named TT Zero.  In any case the EMXGP race was quietly dropped and as we can see, the TTXGP organization didn't even maintain ownership of the domain name.

BRASELTON, GA – January 12, 2012 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Strategic sustainability project specialists Quimera, the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) and the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón (ALMS) will form a joint venture combining their respective areas of expertise in 2012 launching a new global initiative to develop the next generation of sustainable motorsport.
Working strategically, both IMSA and Quimera have immediately begun to define their objective of organizing a global, non-fossil fuel based championship.
Initial steps will be taken to prepare investors, the general public, media, sponsors and other interested parties for motorsport’s impending embrace of clean technology. By 2013 this joint venture will be ready to launch its new international Electric Vehicle (EV) series. This Series will represent the first clean technology professional motorsport championship that will include various categories and also remain open to any OEMs eager to showcase and develop their own green credentials in a cost-controlled environment.
Initially, a version of the Quimera AEGT All-Electric GT car is expected to debut in demonstration runs at selected American Le Mans Series race events in 2012. While the championship is expected to begin in the USA at races run in conjunction with the ALMS, a clear international scope has already been outlined with the intention to invite any national governing body, promoter or country from around the world to join this ground-breaking motorsport project.
By embracing the “cleantech concept,” the championship is also looking to include motorcycles as part of its event roster. Indeed, Quimera can already count on the support of the TTXGP World Championship, currently the world’s leading international electric series. At the same time, evaluations continue into the possibility of hosting joint race weekends. For the first time ever this will ensure an event that features clean technology on two wheels as well as four, helping significant commercial and technical benefits to be realized for all stakeholders concerned.
IMSA and Quimera’s partnership is expected to develop further by empowering R&D activities in both new and existing technologies, thereby emphasizing motorsport’s essential role as a test bed for the automotive sector, for technology transfer as well as other key potential applications. A principal goal of this joint venture is to establish a series operating at the very forefront of motorsport’s clean technology development.
Some initial categories under consideration:
AEGT (525 kW / 700bhp): The world’s first and most powerful all-electric GT racing car has already been designed, built and tested in extreme conditions by Quimera. Powertrain up to 600kW with carbon fiber chassis. Homologation requires no minimum cars to be manufactured while the category will also allow for inventive bodywork design. Complies with all sanctioned safety regulations.
Touring GT (300kW / 390bhp): Prototypes are currently being constructed by Quimera. This is an open category with all OEMs invited, although multiple single class OEM championships will be considered (discussions taking place). Powertrain up to 350kW with carbon or tubular chassis. Homologation requires no minimum cars to be manufactured. Complies with all sanctioned safety regulations.
Series organisers are currently negotiating an initiation series to be based on slightly modified road legal cars with a powertrain up to 150kW. This is intended as an OEM showcase for current EV consumer technology and provides a dynamic platform for the introduction to non-fossil fuel-based race series.
F3 type open wheel (300kW / 390bhp): Formulec has spent the past two years designing, developing and testing its EF01, the world’s first 100 percent electric single-seater racing car which will lay the foundation for an open category adhering to rules and regulations. Powertrain up to 350kW with carbon fiber chassis. Complies with all sanctioned safety regulations.
TTXGP motorcycle: The TTXGP World Championship will expand its format to include more classes and different race formats. With unrivalled experience in electric racing, the series already boasts technology, knowledge and an exciting team line-up to provide thrilling competition and an enthusiastic fan base.
Javier de Rocafort, Quimera Chairman of the Board: “For Quimera, this project is not simply confined to developing environmentally friendly cars that will offer an insight into the future of motorsport. It also concerns encouraging the dramatic shift soon to occur in the way the industry has operated up until now. More important than the act of car racing is how we actively evolve and prepare the future for coming generations. In this regard, our partnership with IMSA and the American Le Mans Series allows us to investigate and better understand the potential applications of these new technologies in the toughest possible environment – and in one of the largest automotive consumer markets in the world, the USA.”
Scott Atherton, President & CEO Panoz Motor Sports Group – IMSA/ALMS: “We have often quoted the fact that the most important race in the world is the race among automobile manufacturers to develop new sustainable transportation solutions. Our alliance with Quimera is the embodiment of that race. It enables us to continue our leadership in green racing and truly takes us to the next level. We have been actively seeking a practical and viable opportunity to develop EV motorsport and we believe Quimera’s technologies and plans are absolutely on target. As the Global Leader of Green Racing, the opportunity to link these events to our American Le Mans Series weekends provides an ideal fit for all involved.”
About IMSA: Established in 1969, the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) is an American auto racing sanctioning body based in Braselton, Ga.
About ALMS: Since 1999, the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) has been North America’s premier sports car championship with 10 endurance and sprint races making up the 2012 schedule. Teams compete in one of five classes: LMP1, LMP2 and LMPC Le Mans Prototypes, and GT and GTC Grand Touring cars while race lengths vary from two hours to 12 hours. The championship is also recognised as the Global Leader of Green Racing.
Twitter: @almsnotes
Edward Triolo
VP – Integrated Marketing Communications
American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón
+1 706 658 2027

No comments:

Post a Comment