Will Team Agni Streamline For TT Zero?
Team Agni won last year’s TTXGP at Isle Of Man by choosing an outstanding rider and using a philosophy of minimalist engineering, energy management and decades of knowledge of electric vehicle racing. Rob Barber rode the Cedric Lynch designed X01 to a convincing victory over more powerful machines. The same “big money” teams will be back in 2010 for the renamed TT Zero at Isle Of Man, only this year they have 1.5 years of electric motorcycle experience instead of 6 months. We already know MotoCzysz will have an incredibly powerful and more reliable electric drive system and has eliminated all but 2 wires in the e1pc, decreasing possibilities for failure. How Will Team Agni defend their title against the Czysz machine and other teams shooting for 600 cc performance?
The answer is most likely: streamlining. A recent MCN article by Guy Procter may have let that cat out of the bag. When asked if Team Agni will beat the 100 mph average and claim the prize for that accomplishment, Agni boss Arvind Rabadia mentions (between taunts of other electric race teams):
I’m confident – though the changes to the streamlining rules have made it harder.
Combine that statement with the fact that electric vehicle guru and Agni X5 motor designer Cedric Lynch drives a feet forward streamliner around the UK on a daily basis and all signs point to streamlining. It’s no secret that batteries are heavy and have relatively low energy density compared to gasoline. Team Agni averaged 85 mph last year. It is probably safe to assume they have better batteries, improved controller functionality and an improved motor this year. This, combined with a wind cheating, high-coverage fairing could be enough to give Agni the extra 15 mph average speed they need and still have enough power to lap the Mountain Circuit.
You may wonder what “changes to streamlining” Rabadia is referring to in the earlier quote. TTXGP’s streamling rules were written by motorcycle fairing legend and master of fuel economy Craig Vetter. TTXGP’s rules followed Vetter’s prescription of up to 400 mm of fairing behind the rear wheel, where TT Zero limits it to 200 mm. Also, the fairing behind the rider can not extend more than 150 mm above the seat pan for TT Zero where it can be as high as the rider’s helmeted head at race speed for TTXGP.
Below is a picture to help understand the impact of the TT Zero rules to Craig Vetter’s streamlining recommendations. In the picture I photo-chopped Vetter’s image of the streamlined TTXGP bike (top of page) to accommodate FIM / TT Zero rules. I am eyeballing it and this is my interpretation so please take it with a grain of salt and leave a comment if you think I’m wrong.
Also, if you feel the TTXGP rules should change, be sure to have a look at the TTXGP Rules Wiki. Anyone can alter the rules there and they will be used for the 2011 season.
Thanks to Harry At eMotoRules for helping me put 2 and 2 together.
In: Racing · Tagged with: 2010 Isle of Man TT, 2010 TT Zero, Arvind Rabadia, Cedric Lynch, electric racing, Guy Procter, IOMTT, Isle Of Man, MCN, streamline, streamlining, Team Agni, TT Zero, TTXGP