EIGHTEEN competitors, the highest number of entries since the inaugural race in June 2009, have confirmed their participation in the 2012 SES TT Zero Challenge; all vying to be the first to break the 100mph lap on an electric bike around the world famous Mountain Course
Now in its fourth year the TT Zero emissions race has captured the imagination of universities, corporations and hi-tech institution, and this year is no different with teams from a range of institutions and organisations across the globe lining up on the starting grid.
The current record lap holders in the TT Zero race are US Based outfit Team Segway Racing MotoCzysz from Portland, Oregon with a lap of 99.604mph which they set in 2011. However, recent technological advancements, such as increasing the speed of vehicles by offsetting the weight of an increased battery whilst retaining high voltage means that MotoCzysz will be facing stiff competition from the likes of Japanese Team Mugen and Indian Team Agni, who set the benchmark for the event with its stunning success in 2009.
The riders taking part this year include seasoned TT competitors such as seventeen-time champion John McGuinness who will be making his TT Zero debut, piloting Team Mugen’s 120 horsepower Mugen EV machine, as well as newcomers Bournemouth Kawasaki/Zytek Automotive and TGM IOT – Vienna.
Laurence Skelly MHK, Political Member for the Department of Economic Development with responsibility for Clean Tech, commented:
‘The TT course is an historic challenge and it is great to see both new and established riders embrace the zero emissions race. The Isle of Man Government has always been a strong supporter of its manufacturing and innovation sector and we are grateful to SES for their continued support in this area. We look forward to welcoming the teams, riders and supporters to the Isle of Man.’
Dr Ken Milne, Senior Manager for Energy Policy at the Department of Economic Development commented on this year’s entrants:
‘The TT Zero event has continued to go from strength to strength since the inaugural race in 2009. Each year we see developers showcase new technologies in one of the most testing racing environments and this year is no different. The event also provides us with a perfect platform to showcase the Isle of Man’s credentials as a low carbon, clean tech centre of excellence.’
Mark Guthrie, MD, of event sponsors SES Satellite Leasing Ltd, the world leading Satellite Communications provider that is again supporting the event, commented:
‘We are delighted to see the event growing in stature in our second year of supporting it. As a company we pride ourselves on technical excellence and all of the participating teams deserve great credit for their groundbreaking efforts. The lap times bear witness to the remarkable progress that has already been made and we anticipate major progress again this year.’
The TT Zero Challenge Lap Award of £10,000 will be presented to the first team to complete a lap at over 100mph, or in the case of multiple 100mph laps being achieved the award will be made to the highest placed finisher. There will also be limited edition trophies, designed by a Manx artist, presented to the first 10 teams to average over 100mph lap on the Mountain course.