One of the biggest disappointments of the 2010 TTXGP North America championship might have been the non-appearance by Chip Yates and the Swigz.com Pro Racing team. Up until the first race, we had expected them to be a strong contender with an experienced rider and a well-engineered bike. Round 1 at Infineon came and ... nothing. They were a no-show on the grid.
Apparently, the blame belongs to the batteries. The Chinese cells received were heavier than their specifications said they would be, giving the bike more weight than the rules allow. Just take some out, you say? A smaller pack would have been unable to put out enough power to hit the horsepower figures the hardware is capable of. So, as well as looking for better batteries, the team has been working on their machine and, more recently, have been letting slip exactly what they expect to have on the grid next year.
In a word, it's a monster. A brute with the force of six Frankensteins and the brains of half a dozen Einsteins. A 194 hp water-cooled UQM brushless DC beast able to twist out 295 pound feet of torque while calculating exactly how much energy to expend according to a bajillion variables that include the traction available, longitudinal acceleration and the distance to the finish line.
The bike is to be officially unveiled this October 5th - 7th at The Battery Show and The Battery Technology Expo in San Jose. While the team hasn't yet said which batteries they plan on using (or even if they've decided), they do have one major secret weapon that will be revealed at the event. A kinetic energy recovery system (KERS). Applied to the front wheel, the set-up should allow them to run with a smaller battery pack which makes them lighter and, of course, quicker. Check out their website for lots more details and follow Chip on Twitter to keep up to date. Official press release awaits after the break.