Highlights from Interbike 2014

Launch of world’s first EV racing series moves to U.S.

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May 26, 2011

The iRACER EV that will feature in the Sports EV class of the EV Cup

The iRACER EV that will feature in the Sports EV class of the EV Cup

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Billed as world's first race series exclusively for zero-emission electric cars, the EV Cup was originally scheduled to kick off its inaugural season in the U.K. at Silverstone on August 6, 2011. It has now been delayed and will start out in the U.S. with two race events in California at Laguna Seca in November and Auto Club Speedway in December, ahead of a full series launch in 2012. EV Cup organizers say they wanted to ensure that everything was ready before the series kicks off and cited safety requirements, car delivery schedules and the need for testing time as the reasons for the switch.

"The interest in the EV Cup has been fantastic, especially in the U.S. which is why we wanted to keep our two race events there this year," said Sylvain Filippi, managing director of the EV Cup. "We plan to begin the full series early in 2012 and will expect to start with races in the U.S. again before coming back to Europe for races here."

The EV Cup is a seven-race motorsport series that will include two principle classes of zero emission electric cars - the City EV class and the Sports EV class. The City EV class is limited to city focused, production vehicles and will feature THINK City vehicles that have been modified to race specification with weight reductions and the latest THINK prepared motor and battery technologies.

The THINK City EV that will feature in the City EV class

Meanwhile, the Sports EV class is designed for drivers experienced in open cockpit race competitions and will feature the iRACER, a bespoke race car developed by Westfield Sportscars that is designed for sprint racing with a peak power of 260 bhp and 660 Nm of maximum torque. To create a lightweight, aerodynamically efficient and low cost body, the iRACER is constructed from a range of materials, including composites, aluminum, recyclable plastics and even a stretched lycra skin over an aluminum framework.

While Westfield admits the use of fabrics has limited scope for road use, it sees advantages for such an approach for racing, with the bodywork able to be changed in minutes by simply stretching a new fabric body over the framework. In addition to allowing for rapid repairs, it also allows for the color of the car and sponsor logos to be easily changed.

The iRACER EV that will feature in the Sports EV class of the EV Cup

The iRACER can reach 96 km/h (60 mph) in under five seconds and boasts a top speed of 185 km/h (115 mph). The iRACER is also equipped with a boost button that allows for a surge of power when executing overtaking maneuvers.

The EV Cup will also include a third Prototype EV class that, instead of races, will follow a time-trial format that will see entrants battling it out to set the most competitive lap-times on street and race courses. Designed as a showcase for the latest non-production electric vehicles, the Prototype EV class has few design limitations and no weight or power restrictions.

In September last year, the EV Cup team organized the first eco car parade on The Mall in London in an attempt to generate interest in electric vehicles and highlight them as the future of motoring. It hopes the EV Cup will help change the image of EVs as local runabouts to high performance, highly desirable cars.

"We are creating an opportunity for the EV manufacturers to promote their vehicles in a new and exciting way. We want to show that green motor sport is a reality - and an exciting one at that," said Filippi.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
6 Comments

Yawn.... This would be cool if the cars were remote controlled or autonomous. They could have different classes.. Like a micro division.. Like a really small, battery operated toy driven around by remote control.. HMM we could call it Remote control or RC.. yah that would be fun.. I bet kids would like that.. I think I am going to look into making battery operated RC cars for kids.. I am so smart, why hasn't anyone thought of this before.

Michael Mantion
26th May, 2011 @ 08:26 pm PDT

The only reason I will never attend a fueled car race is the stupid noise and the sickening exhaust fumes. EV racing definitely will be something for people who actually do give a damn about our common vehicle : space ship Earth.The very first car races - back in the 19th century - were all won by EVs. It won't be long now before EVs top the charts again. The 21st century will be dominated by EV models.

Fouture
26th May, 2011 @ 09:56 pm PDT

Humans are so arrogant. Plants began spewing oxygen into our atmosphere 500 million years ago, and lucky-for-them animals and humans came along just in time to save them from asphyxiating in their own excrement (we're re-releasing their staple diet). Now some dimwitted masses somehow believe that we should stop, and that stopping might have some kind of effect, on a change that started well before we had any effect on it, and that in itself won't be bad anyhow.

Grow up humanity - you are insignificant, and you can't do anything about it.

christopher
27th May, 2011 @ 04:16 am PDT

LOL Fourture! The only reason most people go to a race IS for the sounds and the smells that go with it! But to each there own. :-)

mrhuckfin
27th May, 2011 @ 04:26 am PDT

Why not set safety standards, and let the participants design the cars? The idea now is to advance design and technology, correct? I am not interested in seeing who can drive a THINK or iRACER best. Who cares about watching a race with top speeds of 185 kmh (115 mph)? Put out a decent purse and watch how quickly the advancement occurs.

EEwPMP
27th May, 2011 @ 12:30 pm PDT

Hardly the first electric race series, Formula Lightning back in the 90's had faster cars running on lead acid batteries.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formula_Lightning

Don Kincl
4th June, 2011 @ 11:59 am PDT
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