Saturday, December 21, 2013

Formula E reportedly loses Lucas di Grassi as development driver

Lucas di Grassi has left his test driver post with the FIA Formula E organization, so that he can be a driver with one of the teams.  The issue is that FIA rules don't allow a series test driver to also be a participant in the series, and therefore to be in the series he has to join one of the teams.

According to a report on Thursday on German news site, Motorsport-Total, di Grassi is thought to be planning to race with the Audi Sport ABT Formula E team, because of his existing connections with Audi through Le Mans racing.

This leaves an opening at Formula E for a test driver. According to CurrentE, the Formula E office didn't confirm di Grassi's departure, but did confirm the rules quandary that would force di Grassi to leave.

Apparently, "The Stig" (Ben Collins) has said he's going to join Formula E racing - as a development driver

Friday, December 20, 2013

Hong Kong's round in the Formula E canceled by local bureaucracy

There was a little bit of difference between the original calendar announced by Formula E, and the most recent calendar.  Namely: Hong Kong was not to have a Formula E date, and was replaced by a date in Rio de Janeiro.

When the calendar was announced, I went "ho hum" because whatever places they (Formula E) choose for their races is up to them.  But a reporter for China Daily was not satisfied with that, and dug into why Formula E was not coming to the place where he lived.

The reason he came up with is government bureaucrats afraid the Formula E race would block access to the Government Secretariat and PLA building.

A track built on Lung Wo Road was preferred, because it would have been a better track.  However that route was rejected by the government for the aforementioned reason.  Instead a track in the Central Harborfront area was chosen, but ultimately rejected by the FIA after 10 redesigns.

What the China Daily reporter wrote is:
The principal reason for this is bureaucracy. Any proposals, whether urgent or not, or however beneficial to Hong Kong, are required to undergo all sorts of departmental examinations and approval - usually without exception. Because of the deteriorating political environment, different departments want to avoid criticism by taking on less projects. As a result, the government is not flexible enough to host events like Formula E. 

How will Formula E fill a whole weekend of track time during each race weekend?

This thought has been in the back of my mind for awhile - the Formula E electric car racing series will set up an FIA sanctioned race track in each of the host cities for a full weekend.  The focus of the event is an electric car race, and presumably the typical schedule would be qualification and testing races on Friday and Saturday, and the actual race on Sunday afternoon. 

The Formula E action won't fill the entire weekend with on-track events.  That leaves the question - what will the Formula E organizers do to fill out the schedule so that the track stays busy the whole weekend?

Over on they suggest a tie-up between IndyCar and Formula E.  Several top people from IndyCar have joined Formula E as advisers or teams, which gives a little bit of credibility to that idea.

IndyCar is a gasoline/ethanol-driven series which would muddy the purity of the Formula E image.  Also one of the sales points is that Formula E, being electric, wouldn't require noise ordinance waivers.  But IndyCar's are not at all quiet, and would require a waiver from host cities.  Finally, IndyCar is a US-only series, and would only be a solution for the two US events on the Formula E calendar.

Therefore, the suggestion that an IndyCar exhibition event would appear at Formula E events seems like a non-starter.  But it does bring us to the question I started this with.

How will Formula E fill out the weekend schedule at each event?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Formula E gets $21 million investment from owners of Boston Celtics, holds launch party in Malaysia

Those of us who are fans of electric motorcycle racing are probably jealous of all the attention the Formula E electric car racing series is getting.  In any case, the latest bit of news is that Boston Celtics managing partner Wyc Grousbeck and a dozen of his co-owners in the NBA franchise have invested $21 million into Formula E.

That's a LOT of money, and is just one investment in the Formula E series.   When they made the big whoopdedoo about Leonardo DiCaprio joining one of the Formula E teams, that surely came along with another investment, yes?

"We aim to help make Formula E a worldwide sensation," Grousbeck told The Associated Press this week shortly before the deal closed. "With our upcoming races in the centers of Los Angeles and Miami, we will help showcase the power and promise of sustainable vehicle technology."

"We know the power of competition and entertainment, and will bring our knowledge to the development of the market for electric vehicles," Grousbeck said. "Causeway's mission is to find investment opportunities that benefit from our deep network of NBA and NFL team owners, media executives and professional investors. Formula E is a perfect match."

Formula E chief executive officer Alejandro Agag said the investment by American sports team owners is "a game-changer."

"The U.S. is one of the main markets for Formula E," said Agag, adding that there will be two American teams and two American races in the first season. "To have a partner that knows deeply the U.S. sports market places us in a unique position to develop our championship in the Americas."

In other Formula E news, they held a big party in Putrajaya Malaysia to officially "launch" the Formula E race there.

More than 150 invited guests including media, corporate and government sectors were on hand to attend the launch which also saw the new Spark-Renault SRT_01E Formula E car on display – only the second time the fully-electric race car has been shown in Asia. Guests, which also included the Chairman of the Automobile Association of Malaysia YM Tunku Datuk Mudzaffa Bin Tunku Mustapha, were also treated to a sneak preview of the proposed Putrajaya circuit layout which incorporates many of the city’s main landmarks.

The Malaysian Prime Minister said: “I am delighted to be here today for the official launch of the 2014 FIA Formula E race in Putrajaya and to witness the unveiling of this remarkable car. I believe this event will be a very significant event, not only from the perspective of this race exclusively for electric cars, but for Malaysia it is a testimony of your confidence in us hosting this momentous event. Electric cars are the cars of the future and represent the next generation of vehicles for the global community.”

Alejandro Agag, speaking about the decision to hold the race in Malaysia, said: “Malaysia is a great tourism destination and one of the major players in the world of eco-tourism. And given Malaysia’s foray into car manufacturing, and experience in the logistics of motor sports, the country is indeed an ideal choice. Of course we are delighted to have the full commitment of the Government of Malaysia and the local authorities for their support and for welcoming us here today.”

With this kind of monetary infusion, what could happen to electric motorcycle racing?  eh?  Okay, I'm feeling jealous of Formula E when I should perhaps be celebrating their success, eh?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

eMotoRacing rules & open letter: The new electric motorcycle racing series for North America

A few weeks ago we broke news that Arthur Kowitz and a few collaborators were planning to launch a new electric motorcycle racing series for North America.  They've been busy building interest, putting together rules, and other organizational stuff ahead of their first scheduled race in February.

Between the Open Letter and the Rules we see an organization that's starting out with flexibility and openness presumably to allow as many racers to participate as possible.  Keeping it open will be good, because what we all need is more electric racing.

There are a couple small, potentially sticky, points:
  • The rules aren't allowing full fairings, and probably don't allow a feet-forward design.  While the primary purpose of this is to establish electrically powered racing, some had long seen the TTXGP as an opportunity to bring full streamlining back into racing.  With the switch from TTXGP to eRoadRacing, those rules dropped the allowances for full streamlining, to focus on electric racing.  I see the eMotoRacing rules make the same decision.
  • The weight is limited to 600 lbs.  TTXGP history includes a serious problem in 2010 for one TTXGP participant, Chip Yates, who had originally planned to enter the TTXGP but his design choices led to a bike that was too heavy for TTXGP's rules.  There was acrimony.  The 2010 TTXGP rules had a slightly higher weight limit, 650 lbs if I recall right.   Lightning Motorcycles might not fit the 600 lbs. weight limit.  On the other hand, racers do better with lighter bikes.
Neither of these points are what I'd call a "flaw".  While I might have personally preferred there to be allowance for full streamlining, I accept the desire to focus on electric racing as the primary goal.  The weight limit is debatable, but the field does need to keep moving towards the size/weight/functionality of the gassers and I'd expect the gasoline superbikes to weigh much less than 600 lbs.

It's interesting that the rules open the door to other propulsion systems, as long as they're zero emissions.  I suppose they mean tailpipe emissions, or else a biofuel powered bike could enter and clean everyones clock.  That is, many claim that cellulosic ethanol or biodiesel or whatever should count as zero emissions, because those fuels do not come from fossil oil and hence do not add new carbon into the atmosphere.  That's how NASCAR or IndyCar gets away with claiming to be clean, while still running ultra loud liquid fueled vehicles around a track. 

Yesterday, Arthur posted an Open Letter calling on motorcyclists to participate:

Hello Race fans,

Many of us in the USA have longed for a venue that embraces motorcycle racing for the future.  We have now set the table for racers, engineers, and innovators to stretch their wings and show us their stuff.
For 2014, AHRMA and eMotoRacing have committed to a full season of exhibition roadracing at 10 of America's favorite racetracks, covering every region in the USA.

Rules that encourage innovation, while maintaining a high value on safety, have been published.  Race entries are now easy and very affordable.

Now it is on us, the progressive motorsports fan, to build, enter, encourage, enlist, recruit, and help in every way to fill the grids with racers. We need entrants.

Lets all help by encouraging university engineering departments, ebike manufacturers, current gas bike racers, ebike dealers, garage raceshops, track officials, journalists, and potential sponsors to participate.

Visit the website, or eMotoRacing on Facebook for continuing information.

I thank everyone who has already jumped in to help, and everyone who will do their part in the coming weeks and months.

You can start by forwarding this letter to blogs, groups, sites, and individuals interested in our sport.

Arthur Kowitz

A few days ago he sent me these rules:
  1. All propulsion shall be void of emissions. Measured, at full charge, battery storage of electricity that drives an electric motor shall determine class.  Voltage is not to exceed 500 volts.
  2. All racebikes with a peak measured voltage up to 125 volts will run in eSuperSport. All racebikes with a peak measured voltage over 125 volts will run in eGrandPrix
  3. Means other than battery powered electric of Zero emission propulsion are permitted, such as flywheel, gravity, magnetism, etc. Overall sound limit is 100db.
  4. Motorcycle shall be able to freewheel in case of propulsion system failure or loss of power.
  5. Motorcycle overall width shall not be over 35". maximum overall length is 110".
  6. Maximum weight is not to exceed 600lbs.
  7. Streamlining shall not extend more than 6" beyond the overall length of the unfaired overall bike length. a. Leading 1/3 of front wheel must be visible from the side. b. Rider must be able to get on and off motorcycle with no assistance from others. c. Rider must be able to hold bike vertical while in stopped position. d. There must be no protruding or otherwise hazardous fixtures on motorcycle. e. Riders hands and feet must remain at controls while riding
  8. Number plates to be white with black numbers.
  9. Tire warmers are permitted.
  10. Racebikes shall have an audible horn operated by a handlebar mounted button (to warn others while riding on pit road or in paddock).
  11. Handlebars shall be sturdy with no repairs by welding or clamping.
  12. Light alloy wheel axles or swing arm axles are prohibited.
  13. All electric wiring and connectors are to be substantially insulated, secure and circuit-protected to assure safety from damage, power leakage or short-circuiting.
  14. Areas of high voltage are to be protected from damage in case of crash and plainly marked to protect personnel that may not be familiar with each particular motorcycle..such as corner workers, etc.
  15. When the vehicle is powered on there shall be a flashing red light at the bikes rear and another light on the dashboard visable to the rider.
  16. All Racebikes shall have reliable, easily accessed, and plainly marked emergency disconnect switch on the rear tail of the motorcycle. This switch must turn off all sources of power with one throw.
  17. All Racebikes must be presentable, and built in a workmanlike manner.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

eRoadRacing team Future Electric launches fundraising via IndieGoGo

A new electric motorcycle team, Future Electric, has launched via IndieGoGo (link below) and claims to have designed the worlds fastest electric motorcycle.  One of these days we'll get all the groups who make that claim into one race and settle it once and for all.  Maybe.  Anyway, the team has been working towards this goal for a couple years, and their short term intention is to enter the FIM eRoadRacing World Cup in 2014. 

I see a big motor mounted at the swing arm pivot, and a TTXGP logo even though we're not using that brand name any longer. Oh, and what's that front swing arm about?  And, what are the specs?
  • Max theoretical speed [High Gear]: 350 Km/h (217 miles/hr)
  • Max theoretical speed [Low Gear]: 280 Km/h (173 miles/hr)
  • Power Output: 150+ Kw / 200+ hp
  • 0-100 Km/h: 2,5 seconds (0-60 miles/hr 2.5 seconds)
  • Weight: 180 Kg
So, this means they're not going to beat Lightning Motorcycles land speed record, meaning they won't beat one of the definitions of "fastest electric motorcycle," but the 0-60 time is impressive.  The light weight will certainly do them good in race situations.

Their fund-raising goal of $60,000 will "pay for a high performance liquid cooled AC motor, and a state of the art Hub Centre Steering for one of the race bikes."

Down in the Nerdy Tech section they have an interesting thing to say:
Today’s most advanced electric motors are already better than current Moto GP motorcycle’s engines in terms of torque delivery, physical size, engine-braking control, and reduced gyroscopic handling impact. The small size of electrical components in electric motorcycles also gives room for better overall motorcycle design, which translates directly into better motorcycle handling and feel.
In other words, electric drive trains can be more power dense than MotoGP engines.  The issue we're facing is getting enough energy storage on board for a full length race.  That means 30 kilowatt-hours or more, and the top race bikes today have about 14 kilowatt-hours IIRC.

Formula E's schedule approved by FIA, and catching up with other series news

The FIA Formula E World Cup electric car racing series has been up to a lot of actions, which I've not kept up with.  The most recent is that the FIA has approved their 2014 proposed schedule, and before that they approved several teams and a media partner.

An asterisk at the bottom of the press release says that all tracks remain subject to "FIA Track Homologation."  Meaning, that the schedule could change again if one of the cities aren't able to construct a track that satisfies the FIA.

Some other news:

TV Asahi acquires Japanese broadcasting rights for Formula E: The Japanese broadcast network will have broadcasting rights in Japan, joining FOX Sports as confirmed broadcasters.

Indian manufacturer Mahindra Racing signs as eighth Formula E team: Mahindra is a giant manufacturer in India that makes a lot of vehicles, including a line of electric cars (the Reva).   The company already has a motorsports team racing in the MotoGP, so maybe by getting into electric motorsports they might eventually join electric motorcycle racing?  Mr S P Shukla, Chairman, Mahindra Racing and President of Group Strategy said: “We are very excited about our new adventure with Formula E. Mahindra Racing is relatively young, but we have seen how racing delivers benefits to our organisation, not only from the brand perspective, but equally in terms of technology advances and motivation. This is an excellent addition to our racing portfolio and we are looking forward to a successful future in Formula E.”

Formula E car completes successful test debut:  They took the SPARK-Renault SRT_01E to the La Ferté Gaucher circuit near Choisy-le-Roi, France. Frédéric Vasseur, President of Spark Racing Technology, said: “Everything went very well and it was a very positive maiden run for the Spark-Renault SRT_01E. The car ran for around 40 laps with no issues straight out of the box, which looks good for the overall reliability. We were also running with a much smaller battery than we will use – just 25% of the full power - which again gives us confidence going forward. The next test is planned for the coming weeks where we want to increase the mileage on the car, working our way up to a full race simulation.”

SRT_01E makes Asian debut at Tokyo Motor Show: “I am very excited to be a part of the Driver’s Programme for the development of the Formula E cars,” said Japanese former Formula One driver Takuma Sato who will be one of several top drivers used to help develop the SRT_01E. “This series provides a huge potential for the future of motor racing and electric cars.

ABT Sportsline to compete in Formula E under Audi Sport banner: This is a German team who will race as under the banner ‘Audi Sport ABT Formula E Team’ because they had raced as an Audi factory team in the popular international touring car series DTM. “We’re proud to have the opportunity to take part in the debut of this new racing series. Participating in the new FIA Formula E Championship marks a completely new chapter in our more than 60-year motorsport history,” said Hans-Jürgen Abt. “As a company that has been active in the field of regenerative powertrains and electric mobility we’re convinced of the series’ concept. It’s innovative, delivers motorsport at the highest level and a great show for fans around the world – all of which are a perfect fit for ABT Sportsline.”

EY report forecasts Formula E to contribute to significant sales increase in EVs: We certainly hope this is true:  "the new zero emission race series will help contribute to the additional sale of 77 million Electric Vehicles (EV) worldwide over the next 25 years (2015–2040)."  Somehow they think the series will contribute to removing barriers to the EV market: pricing and technology.  Juan Costa Climent, EY Global Climate Change & Sustainability Services Leader, commented: "EY has undertaken rigorous analysis into the state of the global electric vehicle market, the challenges it faces, and the opportunities the technology can bring in terms of cost savings and environmental benefits. Our research has shown the huge potential that Formula E has to accelerate not only the technology, but also to breakdown many of the misconceptions around electric vehicles. With an estimated 77 million more electric vehicles on the road by 2040, as a result of Formula E together with all its stakeholders, today's unveiling of the latest racing car technology is the first step in an exciting journey for the industry."

Super Aguri joins FIA Formula E Championship as sixth team: This Japanese team is associated with Suzuki and has a lot of experience in Formula One racing. “Today is a new chapter for the Super Aguri name and I’m proud that our team will represent Japan in the inaugural Formula E series,” said Aguri Suzuki, Executive Chairman of Super Aguri Formula E. “Zero emissions racing is a progressive concept for the motorsport industry, and after more than 40 years as both a driver and team owner, I see Formula E as a great stride towards the future. Japan has always been at the forefront of cutting-edge innovation and technology and our participation in the series will enable us to promote and develop electric vehicle technology not just in our region, but also on a global scale."

2014/2015 FIA Formula E Championship – Calendar:
Round 1 - Beijing, China, 13th September 2014                                              
Round 2 - Putrajaya, Malaysia, 18th October 2014                                    
Round 3 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 15th November 2014
Round 4 - Punta del Este, Uruguay, 13th December 2014
Round 5 - Buenos Aires, Argentina, 10th January 2015
Round 6 - Los Angeles, USA, 14th February 2015
Round 7 - Miami, USA , 14th March 2015
Round 8 - Monte Carlo, Monaco, 9th May 2015 
Round 9 - Berlin, Germany, 30th May 2015
Round 10 - London, UK, 27th June 2015

Monday, December 2, 2013

Darville Racing hooks up with Brammo as factory team during 2014 eRoadRacing series

Brammo announced today that Darvill Racing would be contesting the 2014 FIM eRoadRacing World Cup as a factory supported team.   This is both great for Brammo, and the first sign that there will be a 2014 eRoadRacing series.

Darville will be running with two "Factory-supported privateer Brammo machines".  One is described as a "Prototype 2 (P2)" while the other is an eSuperStock bike.  These will be in the eRoadRacing class, while others will be entered in National championships.

Both bikes are said to be based on the Brammo Empulse R street bike, and later in the press release it's said the teams first "TTXP2" is being prepared.  

The problem with this press release is that it refers to information which the FIM eRoadRacing series has not yet released concerning the 2014 season.  There are plans which Azhar Hussain told me over a year ago, for the 2014 season and beyond, which are pretty exciting, but eRR has not yet announced whether those plans are coming to fruition.

In all cases the bikes Brammo is supplying to Darvill are Empulse TTX's, and where they differ is in the amount of upgrades.  For the eSuperStock bikes they're using a definition of "production bike with limited modification" and for the Prototype 2 bikes they're using a definition of "production bike but with nearly unlimited modifications allowed".

All the bikes in the 2013 North America eRR series fit the Prototype 2 definition, because every bike had significant upgrades such as to the controller.

Darvill will be doing an extensive winter testing program before their FIM eRoadRacing debut at Circuit Zolder in Belgium in May. Which implies an eRoadRacing event in Belgium in May, right?  Something that eRR hasn't announced yet.  Sigh.

Presumably Darvill's testing will be around the Isle of Man, their home base, but we understand they do not intend to enter the TT ZERO.

“We’ve been considering a switch to ebikes for a while now and feel that the time is right for us to take on this new challenge,” said Team Principal Alex Aitchison.

“The championship rules allow privately run teams like ours to compete on a level playing field and we are confident that we have the experience and resources to step up and contribute to what is one of the world’s most exciting race series.

“As a team, we have learned a great deal racing in a plethora of disciplines and have proved ourselves through a series of race wins, pole positions, fastest laps and world titles over our fifty year history. We’ve worked hard over the last few years to put out a professional team and we are delighted that this has been recognised by Brammo Motorcycles, who have both welcomed our move into the eRR class. Racing in FIM eRR will not only provide us with a fresh sporting challenge but will give considerably more exposure for our team sponsors.”

Buckeye Current Racing planning TT ZERO 2014 run

I see from the Facebook pages of the Buckeye Current electric motorcycle team (from Ohio State Univ) that they are planning a run at the 2014 TT ZERO.  I thought I'd seen a post from the VA Tech Bolt team that they're heading to TT ZERO as well, but I can't find that one on Facebook again.

Cruiser style WATTMAN electric motorcycle billed as most powerful in world

Finally, a "Cruiser" styled electric motorcycle, though it's still not the kind of cruiser bike I want (hint: my gas bike is a Honda Rebel 250).  Anyway, Voxan Motors has unveiled the WATTMAN at the Paris Motorcycle Show. 

Details are slim:  200 horsepower, 200 Nm of torque, up to 10,500 RPM, 0-160 km/hr in 5.9 seconds (0-100 miles/hr).  It sports a permanent magnet liquid cooled motor.

These make them claim it's the most powerful electric motorcycle in existence.    We can think of a few organizations that would like to contest such a claim.

The 12.8 kilowatt-hour battery pack is said to give a 120 mile riding range.  But, interpolating that from spec's of other bikes, I suspect this range figure is at city streets speeds rather than highway speeds or racing speeds.  Charging time is 80% in less than 30 minutes thanks to support of the SAE DC Fast Charging system - but the problem there is the scarcity of compatible charging stations.

This bike is clearly NOT aimed at racing.   Instead the company says the WATTMAN is "Primarily intended for an exclusive international clientele seeking innovation" and that production will be limited to "unit-by-unit, upon order, and hand-assembled in France, at the Solesmes (Sarthe) Electric Vehicle Manufacture."  In other words, this may never see anything other than the garages of rich men.


Delta Wing consortium files lawsuit that could derail Nissan ZEOD RC and Blade Glider

The Nissan DeltaWing entry in the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans was built by a consortium of companies, and its official name was "Delta Wing Project 56" (DWP56).   That detail is leading to a lawsuit, from the leader of the project team, that could derail the Nissan ZEOD RC and the commercialized Blade Glider that could go into production. 

A complaint was filed and entered into the system of the superior court of Jackson County, Ga., on Friday, Nov. 22, 2013, by Delta Wing, LLC, a business owned by Chip Ganassi, and Delta Wing Project 56, LLC, a business with multiple owners, including Ganassi and general manager Don Panoz.

The issue arises because the original designer of the Delta Wing, Ben Bowlby, now works for Nissan and is in charge of designing the ZEOD RC and the Blade Glider.  Both use a triangular shaped vehicle body with improved aerodynamics.  What makes these vehicles important for us on Electric Race News is they both incorporate an electric drive train.

The claim by DWP56 is that Don Panoz and the DWP56 consortium bankrolled the design, and therefore owns intellectual property rights, which they are seeking to license to automakers. 

According to (link below) Bowlby, while an employee of Ganassi Racing, originally developed the idea as a proposal to the IndyCar series to replace an earlier Dallara design.  However, IndyCar chose to stay with Dallara.  Bowlby eventually hooked up with Panoz who bankrolled more design work, and formed DWP56 who took over intellectual property rights on the design.  The focus was a run at Le Mans in Garage 56, which is reserved for experimental race cars.  The role Nissan took was to supply an engine and presumably some other sponsorship resources required to get to Le Mans.  Unfortunately the car crashed after 7 hours and was unable to finish that race.  It returned to the Petit Le Mans later in the year, and then in 2013 it raced under the DeltaWing name without Nissan's blessing and sporting a Mazda engine.

Last summer, Bowlby showed up as a Nissan NISMO employee and leading the ZEOD RC project, after having been hired by Nissan in 2012.  That car is slated for the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans and again occupying Garage 56, as did the original Delta Wing. 

The complaint names former Delta Wing designer and current Nissan director of motorsport innovation Ben Bowlby, Nissan global motorsports director Darren Cox, Nissan Motor Company, Ltd., Nissan Motorsports International Company, Ltd., Nissan International, S.A., and Nissan North America, Inc., and requests a finding of “temporary and permanent injunctive relief, interlocutory injunction, and damages.”

The complaint states: “This is an action for damages and injunctive relief arising out of theft of confidential and proprietary information, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contracts, unjust enrichment, fraud, and negligent misrepresentation. The Defendants have acted individually, as agents for each other, and in conspiracy with each other to commit the aforementioned actions, which have caused Plaintiffs damages and irreparable harm. ... Defendants have misappropriated the trade secrets owned by DW and exclusively licensed to DWP56 and used such information and opportunities to compete with DW and DWP56, causing irreparable and ongoing injury to Plaintiffs. Defendants have further breached their contracts with DWP56 and engaged in fraud and negligent misrepresentation directed toward DWP56, which have caused DWP56 significant damages”

Nissan's statement is: “The Nissan ZEOD RC is a new design. Nissan does not green light any projects which it believes will contravene third parties' intellectual property rights.”

This has me scratching my head ...

Bowlby was covered by employment agreements restricting him from revealing intellectual property developed by Ganassi/DWP56.  Nissan surely has good quality lawyers who can spot such a problem from the outset, and they chose to hire Bowlby anyway.  Ergo...?

At the same time, are triangularly shaped vehicles all that rare?  In other words, is the DWP56 design all that original? 

In the meantime - the ZEOD RC / Blade Glider - I've been meaning to write these up, and have neglected doing so.  My apologies.