Catavolt does Australia proud!
29th October 2012
Catavolt made TTXGP history this year as the first Australian team to compete at world level in the TTXGP world Final 2012 in Daytona. The weekend was held at probably one of the most challenging circuits for electric bikes in the world and caused many a team to think twice before agreeing to the challenge. However, for this team, the adventure was too good to turn down.
We caught up with rider Jason Morris when we were at the track:
"This year the racing in Australia has been better than previous years. The progression over the last twoyears has been really good, we had a 1.30 time round one of the tracks in the first year, the next time we went back it was a 1.19 and then the ast time was 1.14 and that was only in two years. That wasn’t only me, everyone improved; getting better and better with their technology. Next year we will be faster again.
We’ve got plans to make the hub motor bike we currently run a little better next season, getting the water cooling working will be a big help. With it, we can turn the power up as at the moment we only run at 45% because of overheating issues with the motor. As soon as we get that sorted we will see much better performance. We had one lap here at Daytona where it was working with no leaks and the temp was only 65 degrees C when I came in but normally it is 130!
You can go and have your international debut in any country and it would have been fantastic but to drive through the gates of Daytona where even the American riders are excited is fantastic. You just can’t complain. And then you get to ride out there on the banking, which I have heard a lot of the American riders say they are in love with as well so it was just awesome. No matter what happened with the bike, it was a great opportunity. We knew we were never going to be competitive with the GP bikes, ours in only a TTX75 bike so I was worried more worried about overheating. Speaking with a few of the other teams It seems like Daytona was the winner here. But ebikes have come a long way after this weekend with everyone learning lessons.
The race was a challenge as I only went out with half the power and only one motor working as we shorted one of them yesterday evening. We did the calculations and thought would last the distance, but after lap one the motor overheated, slowing me right down. We wanted to be part of it so were glad to make it to the track…”
A silver lining for the team is that they won the TTX75 award and recognition from the IET technical panel for technical creativity ; Catavolt were the team who had pushed the boundaries most and are a deserving recipient of the "IET Automotive & Road Transport Network Award for Technical Creativity."
The team certianly had an adventure and won some new fans during the weekend and earnt lots of respect from all their new friends in the paddock!
Here follows a press release from the team upon returning home from USA.
After an intensive sponsorship drive across the Newcastle region, Jon Eggenhuizen managed to secure the funding necessary to put the CATAVOLT electric motorcycle on the world stage at Daytona International Speedway for the TTXGP Electric Motorcycle World Championship. After winning the Australian title for Electric Motorcycle racing at the eFXC | TTXGP the CATAVOLT electric motorcycle team faced a significant logistical challenge to get their electric motorcycle from Newcastle to New York where the bike was fitted with a new battery pack in time for the racing at Daytona.
The CATAVOLT team faced significant technical challenges. Due to the restrictions on the TTX75 class having a maximum of 7.5kW the Enertrac hub motor was required to be ultra efficient to be able to complete five laps at almost full speed over the 5km Daytona Speedway circuit. This meant that it was necessary to have the motor liquid cooled. This proved to be a significant technical challenge as liquid cooling a hub motor of this kind has never been done before on a motorcycle. Jon and his technical team worked late into the Long Island evening time to fit a cooling solution to the motor before trucking the bike all the way from New York to Florida.
As expected there were a few instances during the event where the motor needed some refinement however despite this challenge Jason Morris, the CATAVOLT rider managed to sustain speeds of over 170km/h on the banked Speedway Circuit, overtaking many petrol powered bikes in the process leading to bike being pushed into the higher speed class for practice.
It was expected that there would be a number of challengers to the title of the TTX75 championship however the sheer scale of Daytona kept these teams from partaking in the event. On first glimpse of the Daytona Speedway Jason, in a scene reminiscent to that of the original JAWS movie, mentioned,
"We're gonna need a BIGGER battery".
Despite these initial impressions and some of the technical challenges CATAVOLT performed admirably.
In the GP class the Brammo and Munch teams saw speeds in excess of 270km/h on the circuit, which is an amazing leap for this electric motorcycle technology. These machines have twice the battery capacity of the CATAVOLT bike. For the future, Jon Eggenhuizen said "It would be fantastic to be able to secure the necessary funding to get a CATAVOLT machine to compete in the GP class but for the moment our main priority is bringing the CATAVOLT name to the streets of Australia in the guise of a production electric motorcycle."
Because of this amazing effort, the CATAVOLT story has found it's way into the local newspapers in Florida and has been widely covered back home in Australia. The entire adventure of the team was recorded on video and it should be appearing on your screens in the coming weeks on TV and also from http://www.evmotorcycle.org
Thanks to our sponsors 2012
The Tom Farrell Institute
Solar Power Australia
Tim Owen MP
Hartley Green Power
Raine and Horne Newcastle
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