The 2011 TT Zero race was scheduled to run today, but got postponed (along with the other two races that were supposed to run today) to tomorrow due to bad weather on the course. Race officials started an earlier race (Supersport 2) despite riders' protests, but then stopped it due to worsening weather conditions. Finally, at about 2pm, just as the TT Zero bikes were scheduled to go into technical inspection, the announcement came over the loudspeakers at the grandstands that all further races for the day were postponed to tomorrow.
We were disappointed of course, though some teams are probably relieved to have another day to get the kinks out of their machines. We loaned the ManTTX team a set of motor rotors, so hopefully they'll be ready to run tomorrow. There is still a question as to who will actually be eligible to win an award, though. Of the nine electric motorcycles that started in the practices, only five completed the required qualifying lap. Race organizers, however, have stated that any electric bike that is running will be allowed to start the race. No official comment has been made on who will or will not be eligible to receive an award though. Similar situations came up in the first two years of the TT Zero, so we'll see how it's handled this year.
That is one of the big issues of testing new technology in a race setting... going faster always invites the risk of not making it all the way around at all.
Yesterday we pushed hard to have the bike ready by the evening. Monday's practice showed us that a plastic component (the brush holder) of the motors contributed to them getting out of balance with each other. That plastic part was a new development though... we still had spares of that part from older motors which were made of FR4. While more expensive, FR4 handles the heat of the motors much better than plastic and wouldn't allow the motors to get out of balance as quickly. So we decided to swap out the brush holders with the older part, so Radu went back into beast mode.
In the meantime, Erick worked on waterproofing some of our electronics.
Randall arranged for an improved data logging system.
This morning we did a little bit more waterproofing...
Here you can see the black tape on the sides of the frame to help keep moisture away from the electronics and cables.
We're pretty sure that we can handle any rain or wet-road conditions in which race organizers would actually start a race. Weather on the island is unpredictable and very local though, so it's never possible to predict exactly what the other side of the course will be like when you start.
Finaly prepping and cleaning in the garage...
...and then it was time to load up into Allan's van.
We piled into cars to drive the ~30 minutes to the grandstands, and heard on the radio on the way down that the Supersport 2 race had been stopped mid-race due to weather. Once at the paddock, we didn't even bother unloading the bike or any tools. Half an hour later it was announced that we wouldn't race today.
In anticipation of posting a blog about a successful race tomorrow, here are some photos of the grandstands and start/finish area.
From the main grandstands... the view of the start/finish line and results boards.
The main leader board. The stands in the foreground are to hold up the quick-fill fuel tanks for the gas bikes.
Map of the course and the results board. Under each entry number you can see a dial with points for Glen Helen, Ramsey and Bungalow to indicate where on the course that rider is.
I expect these stands to be completely full tomorrow.
View of the paddocks from the top of the grandstands. This is only maybe one tenth of the team paddock space.
As soon as the course was opened up after the cacellation of the rest of racing, the pit lane turned into motorcycle parking.