The TTxGP - the first clean emissions Grand Prix
June 25, 2008 The world’s oldest racing venue, the Isle of Man, is set to reinvent itself by holding the world’s first clean emissions Grand Prix. This new and very exciting chapter in auto racing history is set to begin next June (2009) when the, the TTxGP, will be held over just one 37.7 mile (60.7 km) lap of the famous Isle of Man TT circuit. The traditional world of motorsport has been slow to grasp the urgency with which the world needs to clean up its petroleum-burning act, so a new group is planning the world’s first Clean Emissions Grand Prix race. Regulations are due in about a fortnight from now, with the intention of showcasing a diverse range of clean emission two and three wheeled vehicles capable of reaching Grand Prix race speeds. The event will be staged during the traditional TT motorcycle races and there are plans to offer the event internationally as part of a series.
What’s most exciting is that this is the first motor race all over again – without fossil fuels. This is a significant event. Winning this event will ensure a place in the history books and the great likelihood of economic success for the winning vehicle.
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The idea behind establishing the world’s first Clean Emission Grand Prix is to, according to the organisers, “set the benchmark in environmentally friendly racing excellence, further demonstrating the Isle of Man’s commitment to supporting scientific and technological innovation and offering the ‘freedom to flourish’.”
TTxGP Founder Azhar Hussain said, “although this is a radical departure from conventional racing, the TTxGP is a stand alone race and a concept which encapsulates the spirit of the traditional Isle of Man TT. We’re about to make history as well as enrich the Isle of Man’s racing pedigree.”
John Shimmin, Minister for the Environment, Isle of Man said of the event, “The Isle of Man has a great tradition in both racing and technological innovation. Combining the world’s greatest road racing circuit with state of the art clean emission technologies brings yet another fantastic first for our small but proud nation.”
“The focus in clean emission events has to date been endurance – what captures the publics imagination is speed and we’re the first to do that,” said Hussain. “It’s the fastest around the course once and the winner goes down in history.”
Simon Maddison, Technical Director of TTxGP and Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology: “The TTxGP is an enormously exciting prospect from an engineering perspective. It comes at a time when we are reaching a tipping point in the search for and acceptance of alternative energy sources. The TTxGP provides a fantastic way of promoting and popularising these new technologies, serving to inspire young engineering professionals to turn their skills to tackling the pressing energy issues of the modern world.”
The event is currently seeking discussions with potential sponsors and other parties wishing to add their support.
The definition of “clean emissions” for the event is focussed solely on the vehicle, so a fully charged battery in an electric vehicle is okay. As long as the vehicle does not emit anything toxic, any propulsion method is intended to be acceptable. In our mind this will certainly mean that some very powerful electric motorcycles will be built given they only need to run 40 miles on a charge. We have previously speculated about the prospects of a very fast electric motorcycle and now the challenge has been firmly called.
The other viable platform is likely to be a carving three wheeler.
One of the teams to have already announced its entry in the event is from Kingston University., Course Director for Motorsport and Motorcycle Engineering at Kingston University is Paul Brandon. “Being involved in this new initiative will allow us to continue exploring the viability of ultra low emission vehicles. Designing a solution for a course as demanding the Isle of Man TT circuit will further increase the impetus to bring cost effective, clean transport technologies to the general public,” said Brandon.
The race series is planned for expansion in future years, based loosely on the F1 model. “Formula One has achieved a lot for motor vehicles and many of the innovations we see on road cars originated there, said Hussain.
Once the regulations are issued, organisers are expecting entries from International corporations as much as they are from the usual student teams from Universities and technology institutions.
The event will be run in three classes, being:
- a Pro Class where the fastest motogp/Formula 1 type machinery will compete
- an Open Class where the vehicle must be built to a budget using off-the-shelf componentry. The ‘Open’ class race is designed to attract innovative cottage teams interested in experimenting with alternative energy sources.
- a Free Class which will be more of an exhibition of still emerging technologies. The third Free class will have no prize other than being able to participate on the unique IOM TT course during the week-long festival.
Teams will compete over a single 37.7 miles (60.7 km) lap of the TT circuit, which comprises over 200 corners and quite unique terrain as it rises from sea level to an altitude of over 1,300 ft (396 m). It is the oldest racing circuit still in use, having been first raced on in 1907.
The Grand Prix will provide an exciting opportunity for leading global innovators in racing and clean emission technologies to compete and prove to the world that being green does not mean being slow.
To register your interest in entering a team in the world’s first Clean Emission Grand Prix and get the regulations sent to you, see www.ttxgp.com.