Monday, June 2, 2014

McGuinness shatters TT ZERO lap record, 115+ miles/hr

The 115 miles/hr threshold has been broken in today's 2014 TT ZERO qualifying round.  Mugen Shinden's John McGuinness finished with a 115.598 miles/hr (19:35.007) lap speed, followed closely by Bruce Anstey who also broke the previous record with a 113.643 miles/hr (19:55.221) lap speed.

The wet weather for which the Isle of Man is famous nearly canceled today's racing, but the IOM TT crew managed to squeeze in a couple full races for the stinky gas bikes, and the TT ZERO qualifying round concluded just before weather closed in.

Both McGuinness and Anstey made a strong showing today, with lap speeds of 127.344 miles/hr and 125.074 miles/hr respectively at the Ramsey hairpin.  The mountain didn't slow them as much as previous days, with lap speeds of 123.08 miles/hr and 121.271 miles/hr at the Bungalow (the top of the mountain).  At Cronk-ny-Mona, their lap speeds did drop to 119.174 miles/hr and 117.117 miles/hr respectively, also quicker than on Saturday's qualifying round.

It may be that McGuinness and Anstey were doing a better job of managing energy.  On Friday, McGuinness was clocked doing 164 miles/hr at the Sulby speed trap, but today their speeds at Sulby were 156.8 miles/hr and 154.3 miles/hr.

Coming in 3rd was Sarolea's Robert Wilson with a 91.467 miles/hr (24:44.992) lap speed.  This again was faster than the Buckeye Current lap speed on Friday.

The Buckeye Current team explained on Facebook that because of the battery pack damage during Friday's run, they have had to do a field redesign to avoid further damage.  They're testing with the redesigned pack, but were unable to go out for today's practice round.

Fourth: VercarMoto's Mark Miller with a 86.385 miles/hr (26:12.363) lap speed.

Fifth: Kingston Univ's ION Horse, George Spence, with a 81.287 miles/hr (27:50.968) lap speed.

Sixth: ManTTX made it into today's practice round with replacement rider Timothee Monot following Dave Moffitt's injury.  Monot finished with a 73.228 miles/hr (30:54.852) lap time.

With a showing like this, the Manx Radio announcers today began chattering on about the rapid advance in electric motorcycle lap speeds.  The improvements are coming much faster than for gas motorcycles.  In earlier times those announcers seemed dismissive of the electric bikes, but today their tone seemed to recognize the electric bikes are here to stay and it won't be too long before they'll be the main show.

An interesting factoid the announcers mentioned is that the highest speed clocked THAT DAY at the Sulby Speed trap was about 173 miles/hr, on a 600cc gasser.  McGuinness recorded the fastest time with an electric bike at Sulby the other day, at 164 miles/hr.  How soon before the record for fastest Sulby speed is held by an electric racer?  UPDATE: A few people have pointed out the outright speed record at Sulby is over 190 miles/hr, for a 1000cc bike.  I'm guessing that record might fall before the outright lap speed record (132 miles/hr) is held by an electric racer.

The electric bikes are with 10 miles/hr of breaking the Sulby speed trap record - and about 16 miles/hr from breaking the overall lap speed record.

The next scheduled event is the TT ZERO race, Wednesday, 10:45 AM GMT.   Now that they've broken through the 115 miles/hr threshold, will they go faster again on Wednesday?  You bet your booties.  Anstey wants to beat McGuinness, and McGuinness wants to stay on top.

Updates over the weekend

Here's a couple fan pictures of Mugen Shinden riders John McGuinness and Bruce Anstey.  The Mugen Shinden twitter account asked whether today's wet weather will cancel events for today, but that has turned out to not be the case.

ARC EV Racing posted a couple pictures of their bike looking like it's ready to run today.  Not sure what happened, I saw no information on them during the race.

Darvill Racing contacted me to say their rider, Neal Champion, was injured (but is otherwise okay) in practice at Greeba.  They aren't running in the TT ZERO.  They are doing demos of the Empulse R around the Island, and are hoping to do a demo lap.

ManTTX wrote a posting on Twitter implying they'd go out for Monday's practice.

The Buckeye Current team is continuing work on their battery pack. In today's update they discuss "redesigning" the battery pack, so the bottom line is they decided to do more than just replace a couple cells and instruct Rob Barber to hold back on the throttle. In a post on Sunday, they wrote "We've determined the changes necessary to prevent further damage to the battery pack and are charging and balancing the spare cells to be ready for the TT Zero. In order to prevent any further issues, we've decide to not run in the Monday practice lap." Additionally, they'll be ready for a full power run on Wednesday (for the race).

Also on Wednesday, the team posted this about their collaboration with Rob Barber:

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