Saturday, August 17, 2013

Ho Chi Fung (Zongshen) takes the pole at eRoadRacing Oschersleben

Can you spell Oschersleben?  If so, you're a better man than me.  In any case, Ho Chi Fung has taken pole position at the eRoadRacing Europe race #2 at that track.  It's a double header for the eRoadRacing this weekend with events in both Indianapolis (where Shane Turpin has taken pole position) and Oschersleben (Germany). 

The roster is three bikes from Zongshen, two from Agni Motors, two from Renegade Z, and one team named SBK City Racing.  One of the Zongshen riders is Thomas Schuricht, who had been involved with Meunch Racing since 2010, and in 2009 had raced the Isle of Man TTXGP under a team name I'm forgetting at the moment.  Another familiar name is Peter Linden, a Swedish racer (if I recall right) who has raced in TTXGP with various teams since 2010.  And, it's nice to see Agni Motors returning after an absence from the electric motorcycle racing scene, and I've seen a picture of Cedric Lynch at the track.

Here's the results:

One thing that stands out is the lap speeds for Zongshen's top bike is not anywhere near the Brammo Empulse RR top speeds.  The lap length is about the same (3.6 kilometers) and the 1:44 lap time Ho Chi Fung qualified with would have been mid-pack at the Laguna Seca race.  Kenyon Kluge who took 3rd place in the grid and 2nd place in the race had 1:48 lap times at Laguna, with Shane Turpin and Eric Bostrom with 1:32ish lap times.  That means the European series doesn't have the same caliber of top end bikes that we have in North America.

We see that everyone's speed improved a bit between Friday and Saturday, and that the 120% threshold moved from 2:13 to 2:10 as a result. 

The Renegade Z guys should probably think about calling Zero's headquarters to get some guidance on upgrades to the bikes.

The Agni bikes are giving good results and it makes me wonder what motors they're packing?  The Agni design is to mount two of their motors face-to-face on a common shaft.  Agni's top motor is still (I think) the Agni 95-R (I think) but at the 2010 TTXGP world final they'd rolled out a special motor that had never been seen or tried before.  That motor gave their top rider for that year (whose name I've forgotten) a big boost but never was put in the product line that I've been able to determine. 

Reading from their race report ...

Sam West (Agni) needed at least one lap in to qualify since he didn't get any laps on Friday. Once he had a qualifying lap, he wanted to see what the bike would do so opened it up to see how fast it would go. He said "The engineers had fitted some new components and the power was significantly better giving improved acceleration right through the rev range."  Nothing about just what the secret sauce was.

Rhalf Lo Turko, SBK City Racing, said there had been controller issues on Friday, but the bike still "isn't consistent" and there's still a lot to do.  He's riding a Mavizen TTX02 which may be a left-over bike from 2010 - I don't know if Mavizen has tried to upgrade the TTX02's beyond what they'd fielded in 2010.  In any case, the 2010 TTX02's had been very unreliable.

Thomas Schuricht #6 is described as "formally of Muench Racing team," and that " his new motorcycle is simply not ready but he was fortunate enough to be offered a ride from factory team, Zongshen Racing." We assume then that his billet with Zongshen is temporary until his new bike is ready. He is quoted saying “Today was not my first trip on a Zongshen. Two weeks ago I was driving a dirt bike off road! That was a lot of fun. Today, on the track in Oschersleben, I was very surprised how good the handling can be on the Zongshen E-bike and how easily it moved about the course. I’m glad to have the opportunity this weekend to be able to race for a professional team. The bike was perfect for Q2 and i am very happy with my time of 1:54.239 given I didn’t have any practice time at all. … I felt very comfortable from the beginning … I had planned to complete the race distance of 9 laps to go and had then in the penultimate round of the fourth Takeoff retracted. With this result, I am very pleased, considering that the other teams are training for two days on this track. I would now like to talk to thank my team who have worked hard to prep the bike. I hope tomorrow’s race to deliver a good performance for them.”

Harald Gasse is riding the Agni bike which had won the 2009 Isle of Man TTXGP, which had been raced in the U.S. during the 2010 season, and then later in the 2010 season by Zongshen racing.  It's still racing with the same pack as in 2009, and Gasse says: “this is so much fun and even more exciting for me because I am racing an iconic machine. The Agni motorcycle that won the very race in the Isle of Man 2009 is an incredibly special machine. That it runs so well still with the same batteries and other parts proves these ebikes are not only fun to ride and practical but also have longevity.”

So, um, yeah, it's cool that some bikes from early TTXGP history are still being raced in the European series.  However, in the North America series we left all the 2010 bikes behind and are racing with 2013 bikes.  Even Lightning's 2010 bike is not being raced, but instead is sitting in their workshop.

Pictures from facebook albums:

Cedric Lynch and Arvind Rabadia - Agni Motors
Cedric Lynch with Sam West

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