The TTXGP and FIM announced on Tuesday a historic change in electric motorcycle racing with what's effectively a merger agreement. The two organizations will now jointly operate an (as yet unnamed) electric motorcycle racing series that will replace both the TTXGP and e-Power series. This will resolve several years of schism, coalesce electric motorcycle racing into one series, and should position the sport for accelerated growth.
The agreement is a ten-year deal between FIM and the TTXGP under which TTXGP will be the race promoter for the new racing series, while the FIM will handle technical issues and sanctioning. This is the same pattern as is followed by other motorcycle racing series such as the MotoGP. In that series Dorna handles race promotion, while the FIM handles sanctioning. Until now the TTXGP had attempted to fulfill several roles where the normal pattern is to split the roles so that race promotion is handled by one organization, and race sanctioning is handled by another.
The new organization will phase in between 2013-2015. The intent is that starting with the 2015 season the new racing series will be its own headline event, hold its own racing events, maintain its own calendar, and will consist of races held across three continents.
For 2013 the configuration will be much like how the TTXGP operated in 2010, 2011 and 2012. It will consist of two series, one in Europe, one in North America, with a final championship race in Asia. The rules book for 2013 is expected to be nearly identical with the 2012 TTXGP rules book. The event dates have not been announced, however the series will operate as a support class for other FIM events such as MotoGP. A look at the MotoGP calendar for North America will give a strong hint to the likely event dates in North America.
For 2014, the configuration will be a global championship series with at least six events distributed over three continents.
The organizations have not announced effects on the race classes going forward. Will there be a move toward focusing the new series on the higher powered electric motorcycles? The TTXGP and FIM both promise to shortly announce classes, race dates, and the unfolding of the plan sketched above.
FIM President Vito Ippolito said of the groundbreaking new series: “Through this agreement, we are taking another important step towards the growth and promotion of clean electric road racing. 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”.
TTXGP founder Azhar Hussain considers the agreement a milestone in the development of electric motor sport: “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. We look forward to working with the FIM on this exciting project”.