Electric Vs. Gas – Chip Yates To Race WERA Series
Chip Yates and the SWIGZ.com Pro Racing team annouced today they will run their electric superbike in the WERA Motorcycle Roadracing series against the gassers. They will start in the Heavy Weight Twins series racing Ducati 1198’s and KTM RC8’s and see how things go. In February they plan to add 20% more power and try to run with the faster classes with 1000 cc inline fours. This is earlier than anyone expected electric to be going head to head with gas but it is a welcome development.
Last month TTXGP announced rules that set the maximum motorcycle weight for the Open Class at 250 Kg. Chip’s bike weighs 266 Kg which disqualifies his current electric superbike from running in the class. SWIGZ.com Pro Racing sent out a press release announcing they would not run in the TTXGP series and criticized TTXGP of promoting “Scooter Racing”. FIM later followed TTXGP’s lead with a 250 Kg weight limit for their ePower electric race series. You can read more about the situation here. You can read TTXGP’s response here.
This latest development will no doubt bring a good amount of visibility to the WERA race series. The SWIGZ.com team is claiming power levels exceeding MotoGP from their electric superbike. The weight of the battery pack needed to get Chip to the finish line and the placement of the batteries high on the bike may cause handling issues that keep it from behaving well enough to beat the gas bikes.
The bike will hit the track for the first time at Infineon Raceway December 15, 2010. The first WERA race they enter will be January 9, 2011 at Auto Club Speedway in California.
See the full press release after the break.
ELECTRIC SUPERBIKE TO TAKE ON WORLD’S FINEST GASOLINE RACING MOTORCYCLES
World’s most powerful and sophisticated electric superbike to make history taking on established gasoline race bikes on January 9, 2010 at Auto Club Speedway in California
Bike’s debut track appearance on December 15, 2010 at Infineon Raceway, Sonoma California for a private test and media day.
Bike will become the world’s most powerful road racing motorcycle, exceeding the power of a MotoGP bike
The world’s most powerful and sophisticated electric superbike will make history on January 9, 2010 at the Auto Club Speedway in California, as the first electric bike to go head to head against conventional gasoline powered race bikes in a professionally organized roadrace.
The extraordinary machine, developed by SWIGZ.COM Pro Racing in the USA, is the world’s most powerful and technically advanced electric superbike and which by February, 2011, will become the most powerful road racing motorcycle of any kind being actively campaigned.
Chip Yates, the bike’s rider and owner of SWIGZ Racing says: “We have to thank WERA Motorcycle Roadracing for inviting us into their series to make history with this news. Our electric motorcycle will compete head on with real racing superbikes such as the Ducati 1198 and KTM RC8 as well as other established manufacturers, and we expect to work hard to show the world that electric technology can achieve laptime parity with gasoline superbikes. We’re not going on track to make up the numbers; we’re going out to compete in order to raise our game and catch up to these gasoline guys.”
The news comes in the light of the bike’s recent exclusion from the FIM and TTXGP Championships for electric motorcycles, which has imposed a significantly lower maximum weight limit of 250kgs for the 2011 season. “Our bike weighs in at 266kgs right now”, says Yates. “Clearly, these championships are more concerned with promoting scooter development, and our bike is so much faster than the electric competition that we feel far more inclined to push our bike’s unique technology platform forward in the ultimate competitive environment of gasoline bike racing.”
The SWIGZ Racing machine has a power to weight ratio that is slightly better than 600cc gasoline bikes, and will begin the 2011 season by competing in the WERA Pirelli Sportsman Heavyweight Twins Superbike class where its power to weight ratio puts it in the middle of the field. To be competitive against these heavyweight twin cylinder superbikes going forward, the bike will benefit from a more than 20% increase to its current 194 horsepower after this first race weekend in January.
Yates continues: “Our scheduled power increase will make our electric superbike more powerful than a MotoGP bike and will bring us extremely close to power to weight parity with the best 1,000cc Japanese superbikes. Those two facts are a simply outstanding reflection of the potential in electric power.”
Ahead of the WERA Pirelli Sportsman Series race weekend on January 9th, the bike has been invited by Infineon Raceway, a motorsports leader in green performance and sustainability, to be put through its paces at race speeds for the first time ever on December 15th. Chip and the SWIGZ.COM Pro Racing USA team will enjoy the private use of the world-class Infineon road course from 8:30am to 4:30pm and media and the public are welcomed to attend.
SWIGZ Racing will soon announce additional race dates where the electric superbike can be seen competing directly against gasoline bikes in the WERA championship series, that will include Miller Motorsports Park, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and other major venues across the USA.
About WERA Motorcycle Roadracing, Inc: WERA is one of the oldest (37 years old) and largest (over 3,000 licensed racers) national sanctioning bodies conducting motorcycle races at road courses across the United States. Headlined by the WERA/Michelin National Challenge Series, WERA sanctions races at iconic U.S. venues including Barber Motorsports Park, Virginia International Raceway, Miller Motorsports Park, and Road Atlanta to name a few. In addition to the WERA/Michelin National Challenge Series, WERA’s professionally organized roadracing championship series include the Pirelli/WERA Sportsman Series, the Bridgestone/WERA National Endurance Championship, the Grand National Finals, and seven regional championship series across the United States. (www.wera.com)
About SWIGZ.COM: Designed and built in Orange County, California, SWIGZ® is the world’s first dual hydration sports bottle allowing athletes to carry two drinks of their choice in a single bottle during workouts. SWIGZ® sports bottles can be purchased at www.swigz.com.
About Chip Yates: Before turning pro fairly late in life, Chip Yates was a Boeing executive in charge of transitioning advanced aerospace technology and patents to other industries such as automotive for racing and OEM applications. He personally holds 7 U.S. patents on automotive drivetrain and other technologies and is an engineer with a master’s degree in business from USC. Chip has raced in the AMA Pro Daytona Sportbike series and the FIM World Supersport series and owns SWIGZ.COM Pro Racing, an extreme-performance electric vehicle consultancy in Orange County, California. www.chipyates.com