Thursday, July 12, 2012

Himmelman wins TTXGP Europe round 2 during wet weekend at Snetterton

Last weekend the TTXGP came to the Snetterton track for round 2 of the 2012 TTXGP Europe series. It appears there were four teams:  Meunch Racing, Zongshen (2 bikes), BEMSEE Racing, and Performance Bike.  It also appears to have been a wet weekend, the pictures show a damp track, and one of their reports says that while the F1 Grand Prix had been unable to hold its qualifying, the TTXGP had been able to do so.

Meunch of course took the Pole Position in the qualifying round.  Himmelman and the team were concerned because the motor on his bike overheated during the last lap.  He explained some interesting details concerning the bike as so:  “the motor is now 15 years old and has been working very hard recently racing in two consecutive seasons after having sat in the garage doing nothing for over 12 year. Its inventor Roland Garber hadn’t intended it to be used as a race motor when he developed it for Siemens in the early 90’s and was amazed with what the team had achieved to date. When it was designed its application was theoretical and ahead of its time, and in the fact the motor had never been tested at high voltages used in racing until the team came along and adopted it. It wasn’t built for its current purpose, and sometimes, they push it is a little too hard. However, all the safety features kick in and the bike behaves as it should giving this affable racer pole for the race."

The Zongshen team also had some trouble, when the second rider, Tang Yu, crashed damaging one of the Agni motors on his bike.  The video below shows the wreck occur.  Whoopsie.  Ho Chi Fung also explained the teams performance saying “A track like Snetterton is suited to teams racing bikes with powerful motors as it is uncomplicated with lots of straights, not ideal to demonstrate to excellent handling the Zongshen ZPE 001R can deliver. “

Results from the qualifying round were:

Pole 49 Himmelman Muench Racing 1:22.458
 2     59 Ho Chi Fung Zongshen 1:28.149
 3     53 Jeremy Hill BEMSEE Racing  1:37.138
 4     26 Tang Yu Zongshen 1:42.351
 5       5 Emma Franklin Performance bike 1:47.658

Fung, Hill, and Himmelman

Between Saturday and Sunday, Jeremy Hill seems to have changed the name of his team from BEMSEE to Lifestyle Transformation.  We also see in the race results, below, that Jeremy and Emma were both riding Mavizen TTX02's.  While at the Portland race, if I recall correctly, Azhar Hussain said to me Mavizen had found some spare parts and built a couple new TTX02's for this race.  However, the race report says Hill was riding an unmodified TTX02 from the 2010 season.  His performance in the race, holding 1st or 2nd for most of the race, is testament to rider skill and intimate knowledge of the track, because the TTX02 was never a top performer even in 2010 and for a rider to hold a leading position with one for so long, in 2012, is nothing short of amazing.

The wet conditions continued on Sunday, with the Sun showing up 20 minutes before race time.

At the start Himmelman somehow ended up in 4th place, with Ho Chi Fung and Jeremy Hill in the front.  Himmelman quickly got to third place, but Fung and Hill stayed in front for 9 laps battling for first place.  As I noted above, for Hill to be holding a leading position in the race for so long while riding a Mavizen TTX02 was amazing.  Unfortunately, Hill "lost the front" and appears to have crashed at turn 11 which appears to have been the site of many wrecks that weekend.  Himmelman waited in 3rd place partly out of concern for the motor, choosing to instead make a final push on the last  straightaway to win the race.  The gambit appears to have worked, because he took first place.

8th July 2012.
Pos No. Name Laps Total Tm Diff  Best Tm Sponsor/bike
1 49 Matthias Himmelmann 11 18:27.5 01:37.3 Muench Racing
Muench TTE
50 59 Ho Chi Fung
11 18:29.7 2.195 01:38.3 Zongshen
ZPE 001R
3 26 Tang Yu 10 19:53.6 1 Lap 01:56.5 Zongshen
ZPE 001R
4 5 Emma Franklin 9 18:36.2 2 Laps 02:00.2 Performance Bikes
Mavizen TTX02
DNF 53 Jeremy Hill 8 13:28.7 DNF 01:39.0 Lifestyle Transformation
Mavizen TTX02

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