Virginia Tech Bolt upgrading for next season!
30th July 2012
TTXGP Press Office
Winning the award for the fastest finisher on a TTX75 motorcycle, no. 72 Robert Hancock put in a stirling performance this weekend for the team from Virginia Tech University. This, despite being both new to riding an electric bike and a first timer at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca!! The course is very technical and presents a challenge to both man and machine. Inspired by his performance the team have announced they are in already in the works to build a full Electric GP bike for next season...
EDIT: Just added comments from Robert Hancock, team racer.
Photo by Alex Tang
From the Teams press release..
"Over the weekend of July 27-29th the Virginia Tech Bolt electric motorcycle team traveled to Salinas California to compete in a joint TTXGP/FIM ePower all electric race. We are pleased to announce that once again we won the TTX75 class of the TTXGP NA Series.
It has been a privilege to spend 3 days at Laguna Seca advancing the sport of electric motorcycle racing, especially during a MotoGP weekend. Our success so far this season would not have been possible without the support of our sponsors, especially Kollmorgen, Boeing, Dunlop, Areva, and Woodcraft Technologies.
Finally we are pleased to announce our intentions of building a GP class bike for the 2013 season. Thanks to the TTXGP for making this great series possible, we are looking forward to seeing everyone at Miller in August."
TTXGP managed to catch up with Robert Hancock as he was heading out homeward bound after the eventfilled weekend...
Robert, you are new to the team and electric racing, how was the weekend for you?
What great weekend for the Virginia Tech Electric Bike racing team. I feel very privileged to have joined them on their Laguna Seca journey.
We had a few ups and downs over the course of weekend. Practice went great for us considering that was the first I had rode the bike and the track for that matter. We did run out of power on our tenth lap and had to be trucked back to the pits. That was mainly my fault for not knowing much about the bike and where on the gage the power falls off.
You came out really late into the qualifying session can you tell us what happened?
For qualifying I ask the team for a little more throttle control. They managed to get the throttle fixed and about 30 minutes before we were to go out on track another problem came up. They thought the controller shorted out and we feared our weekend was over. They didn’t give up and found the culprit. They were able to get the bike fixed and pushed down to hot pit before our qualifying session was over. I tried my best to make it around before the checkered so we could get a flying lap but unfortunately we ran out of time. It was a relief to the team to hear that the FIM was allowing us to race.
What was your teams strategy going into the race?
I was a little nervous going into the race since I had only eleven laps around Laguna so far. The competitor in me hates to admit but I wanted to follow Eli for a couple of laps. I knew he had been here several times and I was hoping to learn the track belter. The team also believed we were going to be lapped by the GP bikes once so we made sure we had enough power to do eight flying laps plus the warm up and cool down laps. It sacrificed a little speed but we wanted to make sure we finished the race.
So how was your race?
The race was incredible. I got a great start from the back row and managed to lead our class into turn one. On lap two I got my wish when Eli out powered me on the front straight. I chased him for several laps and even passing him a number of times in turn eleven. He would then just power passed me on the straight. On lap seven I passed him once again in turn eleven, laid down my best lap of the weekend and never saw him a again.
It was a great race and I had a ball battling with Eli. I am very happy to win our class for the Virginia Tech team. Laguna Seca is a beautiful race track and even though I have only 21 laps around there it is by far my favorite track. I couldn’t have done it without my team of young engineers. Christian, John, Luke and Patrick you guys are brilliant and worked so hard to give me a great bike to ride. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Huge thanks to John from Kollmorgen for supporting the team and flying me all the way out there. The team would also like to thank Boeing, GM, Dow Kokam, Dunlop, Solutia and Penske.
Thanks to Robert and all the Virginia Tech Bolt race team, you make our job easy...
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