The great schism in electric motorcycle has been mended with the TTXGP‘s eGrandPrix and the International Motorcycling Federation‘s e-Power series unifying to form a new world championship. We caught wind of a potential merger last June and it finally looks like electric motorcycle racing is ready to put on a united front.
After running opposite each other for three years, the two formerly rival series are uniting to form a new championship. Specifics still need to be worked out but the 2013 championship will follow the TTXGP’s usual format, featuring four events in both Europe and the U.S. (the TTXGP’s Australian series has been dropped) with a final best-against-best world championship final in Asia.
From 2014 onward, the championship will revert to a regular world championship format featuring six events supporting other FIM World championships with no final. Instead, the winner will be decided in the conventional manner, through points accumulated through the season.
By 2015, the series will stop being an undercard and will run on its own, separate from other FIM events. The series will feature its own class structure and sponsorships with events taking place around the world. The two sides signed an agreement to run this new structure through to 2023.
“Through this agreement, we are taking another important step towards the growth and promotion of clean electric road racing,” says Vito Ippolito, FIM president. “The FIM is committed to furthering sports events for electric motorcycles which will certainly be a major component of the motor sport of the future.”
A new unified world championship is good news for electric racing. The electric motorcycle industry is still relatively young and having two separate championships hindered development. A single unifying championship, as was originally planned, makes better sense for the fledgling segment.
Back in June of 2009, the FIM and the TTXGP announced plans to work together in forming an electric racing championship. That partnership only lasted a few months before the FIM announced it would form its own e-Power series separate from TTXGP. The result was the formation of two competing series (not to mention the independent TT Zero held on the Isle of Man.)
The TTXGP became the bigger series, running various continental championships and a single unifying championship race. It also drew the attention of American electric motorcycle manufacturers. The FIM’s e-Power series had fewer races and smaller grids but had an advantage by piggy-backing its races on the undercard of other major FIM events such as MotoGP, the World Superbike Championship and World Endurance Championship.
The two sides began to make amends in 2011 holding joint events with championship points counting for both series. A complete union appeared to be inevitable.
“This partnership with the FIM clears the way for a single destination for all the world’s innovators to drive the next generation of technologies for competitive motor sport beyond the grid,” says Azhar Hussain, TTXGP founder. “We look forward to working with the FIM on this exciting project.”
Technical rules are still to be announced though they will likely remain similar to last year’s rules during this transition year.
[Source: FIM, TTXGP]