We may have a problem in electric motorcycle racing. We may have a solution, too.
Yesterday, December 1, 2009, the electric motorcycle racing internet crowd was buzzing about what appears to be an FIM "take-over" of TTXGP electric racing. I worked with both organizations to help revise and write the 2010 streamlining rules for electric racing so, I am more than just an interested observer.
|To that end, I offer the following suggestions to both the FIM and to the TTXGP:|
My friend, Azhar Hussain and a group of devoted and pioneering electric bikers (more friends) have reinvented electric motorcycle racing. The TTXGP on the Isle of Man last June was the world’s first electric road race. The results were amazing. Who could have predicted that electric racers would have performed so spectacularly?
My hat is off to Azhar.
But success has brought problems. Putting on a world race is a little more complicated than “putting on a race.” We now have the FIM to deal with. Years ago, the FIM was given authority by the nations of the world, country by country, to have the final say as to who can be a “World Champion.”
The United States AMA subordinated its authority to the FIM in 1970. The British Auto Cycle Union (ACU) had already abdicated its sovereignty many years before. So, if you want to race under the auspices of either of these two organizations, you gotta follow the rules of the FIM.
That is the way it is.
Consider the following example: Back in the 1980s, the AMA sponsored the “Craig Vetter Fuel Economy Contests.”
If my contests had gotten popular, the FIM would have had the right to step in, determine the rules for my contest and to crown their own world champion. Personally, if they had done such a thing and not changed my rules, I would have been pleased. However, if they had tampered with the rules, making them “Politically Correct” or something worse, I would not have liked it.
Fuel economy never became popular, so I never had to deal with this scenario.
But Azhar Hussain and his band of electric pioneers do. The FIM just announced that they are entering the world of electric bike racing. A pretty good account of this is on:
Azhar and his TTXGP can still run races at the national and continental level but not at international cross-continent events. The FIM has authority there. The FIM alone will determine the international rules and regulations for electric racing and its World Champion.
“So what?” you ask. The TTXGP can continue putting on races.
Well, technically they can, but practically, it will be very hard. It will always be better to race affiliated with an AMA or an ACU for insurance and liability reasons. For political reasons, it will probably be best to work with the “big boy” on the block.
Azhar has invested years of his time and resources to make electric motorcycle racing a reality. Now that it is bearing fruit, the sanctioning of electric racing has been snatched away from him. It just doesn’t seem fair to me.
What to do:
It would be a shame to cut Azhar out of the sport he has worked so hard to develop. It would be a shame for the FIM to loose his energy and enthusiasm.
I think Azhar Hussain should be given some role within the FIM to continue what he began. After all, he is the world’s leading promoter of electric motorcycle events. His vision is needed.
|Page Posted Dec 2, 2009|