Sunday, September 15, 2013

Bonneville Salt Flat racing canceled this week due to rain

The ShootOut at the Bonneville Salt Flats is officially canceled ..per..

Weather has cleared at Bonneville, they might cancel the racing

KillaCycle Racing has posted a few more pictures and statements.  The short story is, that while the rain has let up the organizers will decide on Monday whether to cancel the event.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Drayson Racing distributing QUalcomm Halo technology to the Motorsport industry

Drayson Racing and Qualcomm Halo have signed a deal to "include Qualcomm Halo WEVC technology in [Drayson]'s products."  Hurm, I didn't know Drayson Racing had products, I just thought they were a racing team. 

In any case the press release says that Drayson Racing will be able to "make and supply products including Qualcomm Halo WEVC technology to customers in the motorsport and automotive sectors,"

Given that Formula E, a racing series in which Drayson has a team, recently signed a deal with Qualcomm Halo making them technical advisers .. one wonders what role Drayson Racing played in hooking them up?  This is idle speculation - but suppose that Drayson Racing is a middleman between Qualcomm Halo and Formula E?  I have no proof of that just putting two facts next to each other and seeing how they fit together.

FWIW Drayson Racing has had Qualcomm Halo technology in their race car for a long time.

Announcing our new wireless agreement with Qualcomm Inc

Drayson Racing Technologies LLP, the low-carbon motorsport and electric vehicle R&D business, today announced that it has entered into a wireless electric vehicle charging (WEVC) licence agreement with Qualcomm Incorporated to include Qualcomm Halo WEVC technology in its products.
Qualcomm Halo WEVC technology enables the wireless charging of electric vehicles via a pad in parking space. It is a technology that is likely to radically improve EV infrastructure and uptake. Revolutionary dynamic wireless charge-on-the-move systems are also being developed.

The licence agreement enables DRT to make and supply products including Qualcomm Halo WEVC technology to customers in the motorsport and automotive sectors.

The license agreement builds upon the Oxford-based firm’s role as an Official WEVC Performance Motorsport Development Partner for Qualcomm Halo technology in high performance motorsport.

Qualcomm Europe Inc. announced in January this year its sponsorship of the Drayson Racing Team to promote Qualcomm Halo™ WEVC technology during the launch phase of the new FIA Formula E Championship.

DRT has been testing a specially developed 20kW, high power Qualcomm Halo wireless charging system on the Drayson B12/69EV prototype electric racing car. DRT is developing systems for use on road going EVs and for electric racing cars that will participate in the forthcoming FIA Formula E Championship.

DRT and Qualcomm Europe have been rigorously testing the Qualcomm Halo WEVC system. Testing has taken place during high-speed trials and under racing conditions, including setting a new hill-climb electric vehicle record at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and establishing a new world land speed record (subject to FIA homologation) in June of this year for sub-1000kg electric cars.

Lord Drayson, founder and CEO of Drayson Racing Technologies said:
“We are delighted to announce this further development in our relationship with Qualcomm, a global leader in wireless technologies. Qualcomm’s commitment to innovation makes it a perfect fit for Drayson Racing Technologies and our shared commitment to sustainable technology development through motorsport competition. We are looking forward to applying this breakthrough technology to the next generation of high performance electric road and racing cars”.

KillaCycle Racing at Bonneville Salt Flats, but it's too wet to race

KillaCycle Racing is back at the Bonneville Salt Flats for "Mike Cook's ShootOut".  Racing was originally scheduled to start on Friday ..but.. heck Eva wrote it pretty well, so rather than rephrase it, I'll paste it in here.  I will note that, as Eva says, Drayson Racing is there as well.

And here's a few more pictures

Brammo challenges Formula E's SRT_01E to a race .. who would win?

Shane Turpin, Empulse RR, Laguna Seca, 2013 eRoadRacing
The gauntlet is thrown - let's see if Formula E will pick it up. Brammo, the electric motorcycle company whose electric race bike, the Empulse RR, is among the top tier of electric superbikes, posted this on Facebook this morning: Spark-Renault SRT_01E VS Empulse RR... Who would win in a race?  (see the embedded post below)

They include a link here:-

And: An 800kg car with 200kW (270 bhp) or a 200kg bike with 130kW (170 rwhp)?

Formula E's SRT_01E
Unfortunately, Brammo doesn't post a spec sheet on the Empulse RR page - though, even if they did, they're constantly working with suppliers like Parker-Hannifin to improve things.  What it means is that our ability to engage in the "my ___ is faster than your ____" game is limited because we can't compare specs.

The main thing we'll notice is that the SRT_01E has a more powerful drive train, but the Empulse RR is both lighter and as a motorcycle would be able to outmaneuver the car quite easily.  Especially with a top rider on-board like Shane Turpin or Eric Bostrom. 

By the way, an interesting factoid ... Of that 800kg weight, 200kg is the battery pack.  That's the weight of the entire Empulse RR.  The SRT_01E has a top speed of 225 km/hr or about 140 miles/hr.  The 2012 Empulse RR did 170 miles/hr at Daytona last year.  At Laguna Seca the 2013 Empulse RR was doing 140+ miles/hr in some sections of the track.  Because Laguna Seca is a very twisty track, the speeds are limited, where Daytona is built for ultra high speed with long straights and banking.

In other words, the Empulse RR has more raw speed than the SRT_01E on a smaller lighter frame and smaller battery pack. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Formula E unveils Spark-Renault SRT_01E at Frankfurt Motor Show

The FIA Formula E World Championship series has unveiled the long-awaited SRT_01E electric race car, but did not (in their press release) answer some of the questions I've had about the series.  Specifically they did not answer anything about how the race will be conducted.

The SRT_01E has been designed by a consortium of companies who say they're attempting to push the boundaries of what can be done with electric race cars.

The race length is supposed to be 60 minutes, and each car able to race for 20-25 minutes at a go.  That means drivers will have to swap cars halfway through the race.  However two cars provides 40-50 minutes of racing time, for a race that's supposed to last 60 minutes.  Doesn't quite add up.

In the pictures notice the Qualcomm logo.  They recently signed Qualcomm as a technical partner who will be providing wireless charging systems starting in the second season.


- FIA President Jean Todt takes wraps off revolutionary new fully-electric racer for 2014/2015 FIA Formula E Championship
FRANKFURT, GERMANY (September 10, 2013) – FIA President Jean Todt and Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E Holdings, revealed the much-anticipated new Spark-Renault SRT_01E fully-electric single-seater during the opening day of the prestigious 65th International Frankfurt Motor Show.
Watched by invited guests and members of the press, the SRT_01E has been designed and built by Spark Racing Technology, headed by the renowned Frédéric Vasseur, together with a consortium of the leading manufacturers in motorsport, and will compete in the inaugural FIA Formula E Championship - the world’s first global electric race series beginning in September 2014.
Using the very latest technology, the SRT_01E aims to push the boundaries of what is currently achievable in electric motorsport, whilst ensuring a balance between cost-effectiveness and sustainability, in addition to coping with the demands of racing entirely on city-centre circuits.
The car’s monocoque chassis has been constructed by leading Italian firm Dallara and has been aerodynamically designed to aid overtaking. Made from carbon fibre and aluminium, the chassis will fully comply with the 2014 FIA crash tests.
Providing the electric motor, gearbox and electronics is McLaren Electronics Systems, the world leader in high- performance technology for motorsport. Williams Advanced Engineering, part of the Williams group of companies that includes the world famous Williams F1 Team, is responsible for the design and supply of the batteries and their battery management systems; producing 200kw (the equivalent of 270bhp).
Overseeing all the systems integration, performance optimisation and powertrain electrical safety is Formula E’s Technical Partner Renault, a leader in electric vehicles and an expert in motorsport thanks to its Renault Sport Technologies and Renault Sport F1 programmes. Meanwhile, custom made 18-inch treaded tyres have been created by Official Tyre Partner Michelin, with just one durable tyre to cater for both wet and dry conditions and helping to reduce overall costs and promote sustainability.
“I congratulate all partners involved in the production of the fully-electric SRT_01E car – it is a fantastic achievement,” said FIA President Jean Todt. “The innovative technology deployed follows the best environmental practices, highlighting the potential of the Formula E Championship to spark a revolution in the development of new electromobility systems, not just for motorsport but also for everyday use. This new championship builds on the FIA’s traditional role as a leading promoter of innovation, technology and performance in the automotive sector.”

The car, which has been 10 months in the making, will be used by all 10 teams and 20 drivers competing in the new zero emission series although only for the first season as Formula E is an ‘open championship’ designed to encourage manufacturers to build their own car to help accelerate R&D around the electric vehicle. A total of 42 cars will be produced by Spark with each driver using two cars during the one hour races.
Alejandro Agag, CEO of Championship promoter Formula E Holdings, said: “With Formula E being an open championship, the series gives manufacturers the opportunity to showcase their electrical energy innovations and we’re delighted to have Spark Racing Technology as the first, and for them to produce our new fully-electric Formula E car. Spark has enlisted the very best companies in motorsport to aid with its development, with Dallara, Renault, McLaren, Williams and Michelin all leaders in their respective fields and it’s an honour to welcome them here today. The Frankfurt Motor Show is also the perfect environment to reveal our new car. Many leading manufacturers at the Show today are unveiling their new electric road cars but not just one offs, full car ranges, demonstrating how times have changed and why the time is right to launch the new FIA Formula E Championship.”
Frédéric Vasseur, President of Spark Racing Technology, added: “I am extremely proud and happy to work with the partners Spark has gathered together to form this unique consortium, a first in the history of motorsport. I regard each and every one of these partners with the highest esteem, I have worked with them throughout my career and they have accompanied me in a lot of the successes I have been fortunate to achieve in my other activities in traditional motorsport. All consortium members are driven by a motivation to make this innovative project a success.”
Patrice Ratti, CEO of Renault Sport Technologies, said: “As a global leader for the production of electric vehicles and with a unique expertise in motorsports ever since the company was founded, the choice of Renault as technical partner to develop the fully-electric SRT_01E car for the FIA Formula E championship was obvious. Renault engineers and motorsport experts are directly contributing to the overall powertrain architecture and are in charge of electric systems' specifications and integration, benefiting from the experience acquired while developing the new 2014 Renault-Energy-F1 Power Unit. Renault is also working with Spark to enhance the performance and safety level of the SRT_01E car powertrain. The objective is to design an outstanding race car that will be clean, reliable, safe as well as fast and responsive.”
Peter van Manen, Managing Director of McLaren Electronic Systems, said: “These cars are going to be brilliant racing through the centres of cities. Electric motors deliver instant torque and acceleration and that is what McLaren is all about. Performance and efficiency. Our electric motor, developed originally for the McLaren P1™, has the highest power-to-weight ratio in the world. McLaren is proud to provide the performance behind Formula E.”
Sir Frank Williams, Founder and Team Principal of Williams, commented; "Motorsport is moving towards a greener future and the FIA Formula E Championship will be a prime opportunity to showcase the latest green technology that has its origins in motor racing. Williams has a track record in developing hybrid technologies and we are proud to be supplying the battery and battery management system for the car that is being launched today. These components will be a pivotal part of what makes the car so green and the team at Williams Advanced Engineering is working hard to develop a battery system that is reliable and makes for excellent racing."
Andrea Pontremoli, CEO of Dallara Automobili, said: “With our single-seater cars running successfully in the most important categories and championships all over the world, we could not lose the opportunity to be part of the new Formula E exciting challenge and we are very thankful to our long term partner Frédéric Vasseur for the credit he gave us. We will use all our experience and know how to design and build the best possible chassis in terms of performance, reliability, ease of use and safety. The safety aspect is particularly important for us and we are working hard with Spark and the FIA to set new safety standards for such an innovative championship.”
Pascal Couasnon, Director of Michelin Motorsport, added: “Michelin is the official tyre supplier to the FIA Formula E Championship for the next three years [2013 to 2015]. This new discipline is of special interest to Michelin because it is a means to work on the design of efficient tyres to optimise the range of the formula’s single-seater cars. These solutions need to be extremely versatile in order to adapt to different weather conditions without losing any of their pedigree as genuine racing tyres. For Michelin, it is an additional opportunity to carry over the innovations developed for motorsport from the race track to the street.”
As well as Jean Todt and Alejandro Agag, the launch event was also attended by representatives from all the Championship’s partners, sponsors and teams together with development driver Lucas di Grassi and newly-announced Racing Ambassador Gil de Ferran.
The SRT_01E will now remain at the Frankfurt Motor Show for the duration of the event, with a duplicate car also on display at the FIA Mobility Conference in The Hague on Tuesday, 11th September. After that it will undergo a stringent FIA crash test followed by an extensive testing programme.
For more information visit

Follow Formula E:
Twitter: (@FIAformulaE)
Facebook: facebook/fiaformulae
Youtube: youtube/fiaformulae

About FIA Formula E Championship:
Formula E is a brand new FIA championship featuring Formula cars powered exclusively by electric energy. It represents a vision for the future of the motor industry over the coming decades, serving as a framework for research and development around the electric vehicle, accelerating general interest in these cars and promoting sustainability. Commencing in September 2014, the Championship will compete in the heart of 10 of the world's leading cities - including London, Beijing and Los Angeles - racing around their iconic landmarks. For the inaugural season, 10 teams, each with two drivers, will go head-to-head creating a unique and exciting racing series designed to appeal to a new generation of motorsport fan. Operating as an 'open championship', the series gives car manufacturers and constructors the opportunity to showcase their electrical energy innovations in a racing environment, designing cars to the technical specifications set out by the FIA.

FIA & Michelin: Today’s partners for tomorrow’s mobility: 
As well as being the official Formula E tyre supplier, Michelin is an official partner, at the international level, of the FIA Action for Road Safety campaign. This program is designed to support the Decade of Action for Road Safety initiated by the UN, the aim of which is to save five million lives over the next ten years. This program is set up to educate and advocate for safer roads, vehicles and behaviours around the globe.

Porsche 918 Spyder makes global debut with a NÜRBURGRING lap record

Porsche recently unveiled the Porsche 918 Spyder, a flat-out race car with a plug-in hybrid electric drive train enabling high speed racing, high efficiency and low emissions. This week they've gone to the Nürburgring Nordschleife to do what so many have done before, see how fast they can go around the ring. Over multiple runs with multiple drivers, they smashed the existing lap speed record, achieving a fastest lap time of six minutes 57 seconds over the 12.8 mile route.

This bested the previous record for street-legal cars by about 14 seconds.  The Wikipedia page for Nürburgring lap time records lists two faster times by Michael Vergers driving a Radical SR8.  Because Porsche says they have the fastest lap time for street legal production vehicles, they have to be ignoring these two faster lap-times by saying the Radical SR-8 is not street legal in the way the Porsche 918 Spyder is.


Super sportscar equipped with a hybrid drive takes the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 6.57 minutes
Atlanta. The Porsche 918 Spyder* has conquered the 12.8-mile (20.6-kilometer) lap around the Nürburgring Nordschleife in less than seven minutes. Achieving a time of six minutes and 57 seconds, the super sports car equipped with a hybrid drive shaved 14 seconds off the previous Nürburgring record for a street-legal automobile, and 17 seconds from its run last September.
Wolfgang Hatz, member of the Porsche AG Board of Management in charge of Research and Development, had the following to say: "We promised a great deal with the 918 Spyder, namely to redefine driving pleasure, efficiency and performance. We have kept our word."
As is the case with Porsche, the 918 Spyder is also leading the way for future generations as the latest in the line of super sports cars. It is currently making its global debut at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt. With its unique spread, the model blends maximum driving dynamics with minimal fuel consumption. By taking the Nürburgring record, the 918 sports car is demonstrating the enormous potential that lies in Porsche's pioneering plug-in hybrid concept, and is underpinning the leading role the company enjoys when it comes to developing sporty hybrid vehicles.
"The radical hybridization of the 918 Spyder from the very outset is what made this lap record possible," says Dr. Frank Walliser, head of the 918 Spyder project. "The lap time on the Nordschleife is and remains the toughest measure of a super sports car. Posting a time of 6.57 minutes, we achieved a result of which everyone in the development team and at Porsche as a whole is rightly proud."
The record, which was previously held for four years, was broken during the first attempt in the test drive on the morning of September 4. All three drivers – former European Rally Champion Walter Röhrl, Porsche test driver Timo Kluck and Porsche factory driver Marc Lieb – were quicker than the existing record with each lap driving a different 918 Spyder, and posted lap times of less than seven minutes on numerous occasions. Ultimately, it was Marc Lieb who posted the absolute best time of 6.57 minutes, driving at an average speed of 111.5 mph (179.5 km/h), as measured by Wige Solutions. Marcus Schurig, editor-in-chief of the sports car magazine "Sport Auto,” was on hand as an objective observer of the record-breaking runs. The two sports cars, which deliver an output of 887 bhp (652 kW), were equipped with the optional "Weissach package" to increase driving dynamics and the standard Michelin tires developed specifically for the 918 Spyder.
The 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder will go on sale in the U.S. in early 2014 at a base MSRP of $845,000.
* 918 Spyder: combined fuel consumption: 3.3–3.0 l/100 km; combined energy consumption: 12.5–13.0 kWh/100 km. U.S. EPA Fuel Economy figures will be available closer to the car’s availability – early in 2014.
About Porsche Cars North America
Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA), based in Atlanta, Ga. is the exclusive U.S. importer of Porsche sports cars, the Cayenne SUV and Panamera sports sedan. Established in 1984, it is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Porsche AG, which is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, and employs approximately 220 people who provide parts, service, marketing and training for 189 dealers. They, in turn, work to provide Porsche customers with a best-in-class experience that is in keeping with the brand’s 63-year history and leadership in the advancement of vehicle performance, safety and efficiency.
At the core of this success is Porsche's proud racing heritage that boasts some 30,000 motorsport wins to date.

Drayson Racing heading to Bonneville for land speed racing efforts

Drayson Racing recently set a land speed record of 204.2 miles/hr average speed over a measured mile at the Elvington Airfield, in Yorkshire.  However that track wasn't long enough for them to fully test just how fast the Drayson B12 69/EV can go because they had to start braking while the car was still accelerating.  As a result the team is taking a trip to ... Bonneville.

They'll be at the Bonneville Speed Shootout for the next few days (Sept 12-18).  This event is a chance to set FIA certified world land speed records.  Drayson Racing is aiming for the sub-1000 kilogram electrically powered class.


10 September 2013 : Technology entrepreneur, former UK science minister and racing driver Lord (Paul) Drayson is bringing his spectacular Drayson B12 69/EV electric Le Mans Prototype racing car to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah in an attempt to raise the sub-1000kg electric car world land speed record.
Drayson Racing achieved a 204.2mph average speed (subject to FIA homologation) over the measured mile earlier this summer at Elvington Airfield in Yorkshire, UK, and is aiming to go even faster at the much longer Bonneville track.
By running in the sub-1000kg electric vehicle land speed record class, the team is aiming to demonstrate the future possibilities of EV technology and performance and to highlight the importance of lightweight in future electric car design.
It’s the latest challenge to be undertaken by the pioneering electric motorsports firm, which has been at the forefront of sustainable racing since 2007 and was first to sign up for the new FIA Formula E championship having been scientific advisers to the series.
The car is scheduled to run at the Bonneville Speed Shootout (Sept 12-18) where the fastest cars and motorcycles in the world aim to establish new FIA and FIM certified speed records. Lord Drayson, who will be aiming to top a previous sub-1000kg electric car best, is aiming to push the 800bhp B12/69 EV to its maximum possible speed during the US attempt.
Said Lord Drayson, founder and CEO of Drayson Racing Technologies: “We are delighted to be invited to Bonneville and to be racing on the West Coast – without doubt the spiritual home of the electric vehicle.”
“Back in June, the relatively short runway at Elvington limited our top speed as we had to brake as the car was still accelerating. We are looking forward to discovering just how fast the car can go on the wide-open spaces of the Bonneville salt flats, although its been a major engineering challenge to prepare the car for running on salt.“
“The development of lightweight car technology is a key part of the drive to bring electric cars to market with the range and performance that consumers expect. That is why we are focused on the sub 1000kg category for the EV world record. It presents the greatest technical challenge to engineer a car that weighs under 1000kg, goes over 200mph and is purely driven by sustainable electric energy.”
One of the team’s major backers and supporters is San Diego based, Qualcomm, a leading provider of wireless technology and services. The Drayson B12 record car incorporates Qualcomm’s pioneering Wireless Vehicle Electric Charging (WEVC) system that uses inductive wireless energy transfer to eliminate the plug-in cord used in most electric cars today.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Formula E and Qualcomm join forces in wireless charging systems for electric race cars

Qualcomm and Formula E have announced a multi-year agreement in which Qualcomm will become an Official Founding Technology Partner of the FIA Formula E Championship. The agreement will let Qualcomm showcase their Halo Wireless charging system, which will plausibly result in that wireless charging system gaining traction in the marketplace of electric car charging systems. The Qualcomm Halo system has been an interest of Drayson Racing, and has been present in their electric race car for a couple years.

Drayson Racing was the first team to join the Formula E. While they will race with the SRT_01E cars during the first Formula E season, they intend to become Manufacturers during the second season. Coincidentally, or not, "The wireless charging system will be made available to the race cars from season two."

The Qualcomm Halo WEVC technology uses "resonant magnetic induction" to transfer energy between a sending pad, and a receiving pad in a car.  This is one of the wireless charging systems being developed for potential use in electric vehicles.  The Halo team hopes to have pads installed in roads so that cars charge wirelessly while driving.  Drayson Racing hopes that a race car could be charged wirelessly in race conditions without having to make pit stops.

That last point is of course one which is exacerbated by Formula E's rules.  Namely, the cars being built for the 2014-15 season have a 20-25 minute racing time, and they want the races to last for an hour.  To work around that problem, Formula E organizers have decided each team will have two cars and swap cars halfway through the race.  But they come up a little bit short, 40-50 minutes of racing time with two cars in a race that's supposed to last for 60 minutes.  Apparently the plan is to run the first car for the last 10ish minutes.

But, if the fullness of the Qualcomm Halo vision were working .... but ... I have my doubts whether a race car, at race speeds, would pick up much energy while flying over the top of a wireless energy pad.

I rather think they'd have had a better time of it by swapping battery packs during pit stops - because that's directly analogous to a gas powered racer refueling the tank.

Press release:


Qualcomm Halo Technology to Help Reduce Environmental Impact in Automotive Racing
BERLIN, GERMANY (9th September, 2013) – Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced a multiyear agreement with Formula E Holdings (FEH) to become an Official Founding Technology Partner of the FIA Formula E Championship, the new international championship featuring racing cars powered exclusively by electric energy. The agreement will allow Qualcomm and FEH to showcase mobile and Electronic Vehicle technologies globally through an exhilarating sport and demonstrate how current and future generations all over the world, can benefit from wireless, sustainable technology on and off the track. 
As a leader in the mobile space, Qualcomm will advise FEH in their quest to incorporate new and more sustainable technologies into the racing series. As a start, Qualcomm Halo™ Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging (WEVC) technology will be adapted to be fitted into the 2014/2015 FIA Formula E Championship safety cars so they can be wirelessly charged. The wireless charging system will be made available to the race cars from season two. 
Qualcomm Halo WEVC technology uses resonant magnetic induction to transfer energy between a ground-based pad and a charging pad on the electric vehicle.  Drivers simply park over the base pad and charging commences automatically.  As part of its advisory role, Qualcomm will evaluate the connectivity and mobile technology of each of the ten venue cities around the world, providing solutions to help enhance the spectator experience around the circuit such as live streaming to fans, video gaming and social media. 
“Our collaboration with the FIA Formula E Championship is not just a great opportunity to showcase Qualcomm technologies such as our Halo WEVC system, but to evaluate and improve wireless connectivity and EV technology across the globe, especially in the host cities,” said Paul Jacobs, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Qualcomm. “We hope this arrangement will leverage mobile technology to enhance the fan experience and impact the global movement towards more sustainable living.” 
“The FIA Formula E Championship is going to become a showcase for electric vehicle technology,” said Alejandro Agag, CEO of Championship Promoters Formula E Holdings. “As the global leader in mobile technology, Qualcomm’s involvement will not only help us develop new advances in EV technology but also to provide our fans and the world’s EV community with the best race viewing experience possible. New technologies in connectivity, wireless and mobile, fit perfectly with a Championship open to new technology, not only for the cars but for everything around the venue.” 
For more information visit