At eRoadRacing Laguna Seca, it’s a Brammo-a-Brammo fight and no sign of Lightning

The big show this weekend in electric racing is the 2013 eRoadRacing event at Laguna Seca.  It’s being held in conjunction with some other little event you may have heard of, MotoGP, and is a continuation of the e-Power/TTXGP joint events which began in 2010.  The last three years it has been hands-down the best electric motorcycle action of the season if only to see the competition develop between Mission Motorcycles, Lightning Motorcycles, MotoCzysz and Brammo.  However, this year it seems Brammo may be the only team fielding top-end bikes.

Eric Bostrom, Brammo, in the corkscrew

Brammo’s lineup is Eric Bostrom and Shane Turpin for “Team Icon Brammo,” and Shelina Moreda for “Team Parker Brammo”.  Additionally one of their customers, Arthur Kowitz, an AMA pro racer, is present with his personally owned Empulse TTX.  Yes, Brammo has an Empulse TTX customer.  No, Steve-O is not on Brammo’s roster.

Ted Rich, SBKTraining.com on a Zero S

Zero’s lineup is Kenyon Kluge (a Zero employee) and three of Zero’s customers, Ted Rich, Jeremiah Johnson and Brandon Nozaki-Miller.  Rich, Johnson and Miller are all riding Zero S’s prepped by Hollywood Electrics, while Kluge is riding something we should consider to be a prototype bike.

It’s 8 bikes total.

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I haven’t been to the track yet to see what’s actually going on, but the results sheet from Friday’s practice does not show results from:  Lightning Motorcycles, MotoCzysz, nor Virginia Tech.

We understand MotoCzysz’ absence because of Michael Czysz’ health challenges.  Also it was going to be a surprise if Mission were there, because they’ve been focusing more on the business of designing and building stuff and less on racing.  But, both Lightning and VA Tech promised they would contest the eRoadRacing season.   Virginia Tech has been working on building a proper superbike and regularly posting updates and pictures on Facebook.  Lightning had sent out a press release a few months ago saying they’d be contesting every event they could get to, and this one is in their back yard.  Further, they’re coming off having made an astounding win at Pikes Peak, demonstrating they’ve got a powerful bike on their hands this year.

What I’ve been able to learn is that Lightning either never signed up, or pulled out last Friday, and no, I don’t know why.  As for VA Tech, their last Facebook posting is from a week ago and made it clear they’re still building the bike.  MotoCzysz, well, let’s all wish Michael Czysz good health and a well-deserved speedy recovery.

Let’s get back to the business at hand which is the results from the practice round.

Basically there are two segments to this race, the fast bikes and the not-so-fast bikes.  In the fast bikes all we have left are the two Brammo Empulse RR’s.  In the not-so-fast bike category we have a mix of Empulse R, Empulse TTX and Zero S’s.  The results are mixed together in this group, so it’s not clear which manufacturer makes the fastest bike.

Bostrom and Turpin gave nearly identical performances.  Turpin, had a 1:34.119 best lap time, to Bostrom’s 1:34.134, and Bostrom finished all of .015 seconds behind Turpin.  This is shaping up to be a fun battle of the Empulse RR riders for 1st and 2nd place.

For 3rd and 4th was a battle between Ted Rich (Zero S) and Shelina Moreda (Empulse TTX).  The two of them finished 17 secs behind the leaders, and only .033 seconds apart.  Rich’s best lap time was 1:51.386 to Moreda’s 1:51.419.

Behind them was Kluge (Zero S prototype), Johnson (Zero S) and Kowitz (Empulse TTX), with best lap times between 1:52-1:57.  Brandon Nozaki-Miller, also on a Zero S, had a 2:05.759 best lap time, which was well slower than the 1:59.856 threshold for the 120% margin.  It may be that Miller won’t qualify for the race, unless some kind of special dispensation is granted.

Shane Turpin, Brammo, Empulse RR
Shelina Moreda, Brammo Empulse TTX

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

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