The world's first clean emission Grand Prix will take place this weekend, with 20 electric motorcycles lining up on the grid at the annual TT event on the Isle of Man. Now, organisers have said that next years event will also feature zero emission cars.
Azhar Hussain, founder of the TTXGP said: "With TTXGP 2010, we want to push boundaries of zero-carbon racing further by hosting the world's first clean emission Grand Prix for cars, as well as bikes.
"It seems only right that in 2010 we look to inspire and include even greater numbers by creating the first ever platform for developing and competing electric race cars."
Tesla, a leader within the growing electric car market, has voiced its support for the TTXGP. In 2008 Tesla demonstrated the reality of high performance electric vehicles by launching the Tesla Roadster, the only commercially available highway capable electric car, capable of achieving 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds with a range of 244 miles per charge.
Aaron Platshon, European sales and marketing manager at Tesla Motors, said: "We welcome the TTXGP's initiative to launch an electric car race and believe that competitive, high performance motorsport will be an important force driving electric vehicles and electric drivetrain technology forward while also capturing the imagination of the public."
Potential teams, keen to take part in the race, are coming forward rapidly and include SABA Motors. Simon Saba, CEO at SABA Motors, said: "Our goal is to blow away the misconception that cars can offer either high efficiency or excellent looks and great performance. Indeed, you can have great performance and zero emissions in the same vehicle and this race will demonstrate that fact."
LiFeBATT, the supplier of high-performance battery packs to a number of teams entering TTXGP 2009, has also pledged to develop and put forward its own electric car, the R2, for the TTXGP 2010 auto race. The company has already gained some experience in electric vehicle racing having recently developed and raced a successful electric drag bike, which won the clean emission race category at the Santa Pod AE (Alternative Energy) drag racing event in April 2009.
Ian Goodman, director at LiFeBATT, said: "The TTXGP bridges the gap between cars and bikes. The most important aspect of the TTXGP is the application of the very best in battery and electric motor technologies – not whether the vehicle has two or four wheels. By 2010 we will have a new, higher performance generation of battery pack available and will be able to apply the valuable experience gained during TTXGP 2009 to the development of our R2 electric race car ready for the TTXGP 2010 auto race."
The TTXGP 2010 will also see bikes competing over two laps of the 38mile road course, compared to just one this year. Plans are also in the pipeline to include pit-stops and swappable batteries. TTXGP 2009 motorcycle team, Evo Design Solutions, has already committed to return to the Isle of Man in 2010. Team leader, Rick Simpson, said: "For us TTXGP 2009 is just the beginning of zero-carbon racing. In 2010 we want to return to the Isle of Man and demonstrate the progress that can be made with another year of research and development."