Earlier tonight, I received a message from Azhar Hussain in regards to this post:
TTXGP has not targeted Chip Yates or any team for exclusion. We have always been focused on increasing numbers. The change in the weight rules had absolutely nothing to do with Chip, any other team or conspiracy.
Here is the official TTXGP response to Chip Yates' release.
“TTXGP are very surprised and disappointed to learn via twitter that Swigz are choosing not to join TTXGP in 2011.
TTXGP 2011 will consist of two classes: Formula GP (maximum weight: 250kg) and Formula 75 (maximum weight: 200kg + 7.5kWh limit). The race length is 20miles. wiki.egrandprix.com was a key channel for rule deliberation. The rule book is open sourced, Harry Mallin of eMotoRules was involved in pulling together the suggested changes for rules of TTXGP 2011. They were then peer reviewed by the independent technical committee from the IET.
TTXGP is not a one man, one company show. Be Part of it is more than a tagline.
It was apparent over the 2010 season that a single class could not meet the best interests of the teams, fans or sponsors. The field was too wide. In this case TTXGP consulted widely, acted responsibly, in the best interest of the sport, community and majority of teams.
The economics of running a racing series means that classes have to be connected to number of entries. Our concern was to create classes that will have the highest number of entries and give the participants a level playing field. We are by nature committed to removing limits where possible.
TTXGP launched the Electric Motorcycle Motorsports in the world stage in 2009. In that time we, as an industry, have learnt a great deal that could move forward the progress and innovation. A key motivating factor for us and the current teams is to build vehicles that have real world applicability. Driving down mass for higher speed leads to higher efficiency and better design and fits in with the goals of the teams and the series.
To date, the rule changes have had a positive response and the teams are encouraged that we have created some sensible classes that will grow the field. Racing needs to both push and constrain to create real world innovation and a thrilling spectacle, in this case we are satisfied that we have struck the right balance for the greater good.
Using the conflict of interest with respect to Mavizen is a moot point. Mavizen exists purely to provide technical support, spare parts, expertise and on occasion, complete platforms to those that need it. No team is required to use Mavizen, though over the year, it has proved crucial to many.
In addition to the class changes, 2011 will also see solutions for logistics and a focused effort to promote the TTXGP teams across the world.
We wish Swigz well in whatever they decide to do.“
We are running two classes off the same grip for the 2011 season. We are pressed for track time and cannot economically extend it without sufficient entries.
Had there been enough entries to fill a class of 250kg+, then we would have run it. The teams were collectively keen that we introduce classes and were openly questioning how one class could cover everybody fairly. We lost teams in 2010 due to having only a single class and had we not introduced classes in 2011, then we would have lost even more.
Lightning Motors are returning to TTXGP 2011 with a lighter bike to compete in the Formula Grand Prix class. This will be a replica of the production bikes they are launching next year. Richard Hatfield endorsed the weight reduction to 250kg. They will not be running the 2010 motorbike again in TTXGP.
An important point to note is that we have reduced the 2011 race distance to 20 miles from 25 miles in 2010. Swigz built his bike for 25 miles and is only 15kg over the 250kg limit. We are not sure why the 20% reduction in distance and his advantage of KERS does not allow him to reduce his weight by 6%.
We have to produce a world rule set that takes in priorities from across a wide variety of teams, each with a different objective. For many winning is only part of the reason for taking part. Commercial drivers dictate that their racing platforms must have real world applicability right now. For many teams, the route from track to road has to be grounded in practical reality.
TTXGP is not a science experiment; we have always been more Speed/ESPN than National Geographic. We have commercial and practical drivers in creating a race series that is inclusive, exciting and sustainable. As we professionalise the sport, classes introduce a level playing field that offers realistic competition for those taking part. It doesn’t make sense to race against a 1000cc if you are only interested in the 250cc market. As a promoter, we can only run classes where there are plenty of entries to support it.
We did explain all this to Chip when he contacted us in Mid-October. I thought we had an understanding that he would be able to reduce his weight by 15kg. He later confirmed that he had in fact done so on his twitter feed. It was in this context that we were surprised by his release and its suggestions only a few days after his tweet.
We hope Chip will reconsider and join TTXGP in 2011. Whatever he decides, it’s a fascinating bike and we appreciate that he considered running it with TTXGP.
We have worked incredibly hard to build a series that is vibrant, open and driving forward the technology, the profile and the excitement. We have demonstrated our commitment with the Wiki and our Trust programme, TEO (http://trust.egrandprix.org/). TEO will be publishing the team share allocations in a week or so as we also open the door to diluting our ownership with those pioneers who have made TTXGP what it is.
Thanks for your support and kind words over the year. Hope you will be able to join us in 2011 for a round somewhere.