Himmelman rises to the challenge.
6th August 2012
TTXGP Press Office
Gamma Racing at Assen TT Circuit is always an awesome weekend, this one was no exception. First practice at 8:45 in the morning saw all bar one of the bikes going out to collect data for the teams and ensure all the calibrations carried out over night had resulted in better performances from the bikes...and sadly it was not plain sailing for all the teams!
Wayne Tessels sat out the morning warm up session as his bike had ran well as weekend and the Zongshen team were confident with his set up.
Prototype technology is sometimes great, but sometimes frustrating….
Mike Brouwers warm up was event filled, as the Mavizen TTX02 came into the pits before a lap was completed with the Agni motors overheating, on closer examination the team discovered the bike built in 2010 had for the first time developed a flaw that resulted in excess weight being put onto the drive shaft. It looked like an impossible problem to solve in the time between the warm up and the race but thanks to the ingenuity and great sporting spirit of the Zongshen engineers who came to the rescue, Mikes race dreams were saved.
However, during the race, the bike was obviously struggling to get the speeds it had done previously so whilst he had made it to the start line, Mikes TTXGP journey ended prematurely “I don’t know what happened, but the bike had been a lot of fun on Friday and Saturday when testing and during the free practise but today it just decided it didn’t want to work. I knew something was wrong straight away, I could feel it so I thought it was better to pull in… It was really fun to be part of this, it is early days for the electric racing world; to be part of the future so early on was important to me…it was interesting to see the team working on the bike, I know they worked really hard to make it happen for me and I want to thank them. It is strange sensation to ride electric without noise but I like anything with two wheel so was happy I had a chance to try it… I hope I get a chance to race electric again! ”
His sister Kim Brouwers faired a little better on her Agni motors race machine. Kim had shown great patience all weekend long, clearly pushing a bike that was outclassed on the track. With Lead Agni Engineer Cedric Lynch and team boss Arvind Rabadia absent, the team were struck by race demons from an errant Kelly Controller resulting in underperforming motors that would not run as they were designed to do. The engineering team had managed to tune her motors up to 70% from 60% but well below what was needed to give Kim a fighting chance. However, the gracious racer took everything in her stride, saying “it is great to get a chance to be involved in this, it is like being part of something new and for me, this weekend is about having some fun and helping these teams develop better bikes by gathering data and giving feedback on the bike… I have no doubt they will become better and better and I am thrilled to be part of it. I wish my bike had been faster but I am sure next year it will be!”
Mavizen had an all round bad weekend at the office, with Nelson Rolfe for KTM Pirelli Mulders Motoren team completely destroying a perfected balanced pair of Agni Motors. Having completed just 3 laps of the race he was forced to pull into the pitlane with smoke streaming from one of his motors... Post race examination showed a tightly wound chain to be culprit as this put too much pressure on the motor… human error rather than technology flaws were to blame for his early retirement. A huge blow for his race team and the TTX02 engineers as this bike with an experienced KTM racer could have been a match made in race heaven.
Zongshen has a great weekend; with a 2nd and 3rd place on the podium and a brand new bike for the teams principal racer Ho Chi Fung. Unveiling their development bike for the world to follow at Assen was a brave move. Not many race teams nor manufacturers would allow a development bike to be fielded until the team were confident it would win races… however, Zongshen have understood that data from the race track is invaluable to helping them develop their Yasa/A123 powered machine for next year. Every lap provides the team with data that will help them learn, understand and apply changes to their bike. We expect big things to come from the bike as the set up is worked on over time.
Tang Yu took second place in a race that saw him take pole position for the first time this season in parts of the track. His new wild card team mate Dutchman Wayne Tessels took third place finishing on the podium in his first ever electric race. This 18 year old racer had a smile on his face the whole weekend. He said “I had a great weekend, it was a lot of fun and I would like to race electric again!”
Himmelman took the lead after 3 laps and ran a comfortable race, tussling a little with Tang Yu early on but ultimately making winning look too easy. The team had had some disappointment though as they had planned to enter a second bike into the championship – team engineer wanted to get in on the action but sadly his start permission did not arrive in time from Germany. Look out for Thomas at Oschersleben!
Speaking with Matthias, we discovered the team is very happy with their new motor finally! They have it working like they want to. The first time they raced with it was Laguna Seca so it had a few kinks that needed to be ironed out and Himmelman admitted he needs to “get it know” it better especially the feel of the bike… it seems like the relationship is back on track with both man and machine putting in a seemingly effortless performace.
Roll on Oscerleben, a joint FIM ePower round next weekend; were we will be treated to two – yes two races, a sprint race AND the regular FIM epower race distance event. It should be interesting… Zongshen will have some data to tweak their new bike and Muench will be fielding THREE bikes in their home country… sign up to twitter #TTXGP or facebook TTXGPOfficial for live updates from the track.
photos by Anderefoto.nl and Steve Kingswell.
|Pos||no.||name||team||gap||total time||fastest||in||average speed|
|4||59||Hi Chi Fung||Zongsehn||1:01.480||13.29.560||2:05.188||5||121.53|
|5||62||Kim Brouwers||Agni Racing Team||13:45.276||2:37.700||2||99.34|
|DNF||88||Nelson Rolfes||KTM Mulders Motoren||3 laps||6:45.871||2:07.514||2||121.2|
|DNF||25||Mike Brouwers||Brouwers Racing team||3 laps||10:50.209||2:19.291||1||75.65|
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