The first race of the 2011 TTXGP season kicks off this weekend at Infineon – brought to you by new official sponsor, A123 Systems. Among the announced seven-strong starting line-up are both familiar faces and new ones. Unfortunately, a late-breaking blog post from Mission Motors reveals their Mission R is not quite as race-ready as we'd hoped, and so the field will be down to six machines. When their promising piece of sweetness rejoins the series, they'll hopefully be accompanied by the likes of the Amarok P1 and others.
One race we do expect to see increased participation will be the just-announced Laguna Seca event on the 23rd and 24th of July. This will be held in conjunction with the FIM as part of the "coming together" of the two organizations. Europe will see LeMans and Donington Park added to their calendar and it's expected there will be a joint championship finale.
The grid may be less crowded than last year but the bikes should be much better. Trip past the break with us for a quick run down of the contestants.
[Source: PlugBike / TTXGP]
The favorite at Infineon has got to be last year's champ Michael Barnes riding for Lightning Motors. The old flying banana has been replaced by an all new version that's said to pack 50 more horses and weigh 150 lbs less. We're pretty sure it's awesome.
Michael will have a team mate this year in the person of Mike Hannas, who last year raced for Matthew Dieckmann's Electric Race Bikes team. Sadly, we lost Matthew to an accident late last August. We suspect Hannas may be riding a Formula 75-prepared bike though it hasn't been specified.
Last year's sentimental favorite – emphasis on the mental – may very well take up that same position this season. Moto Electra Racing will send out rider Thad Wolff on an entry quite similar to last year's though completely re-made. It has a new custom Norton Featherweight-style frame and a different motor form last year. It also keeps its retro-sexy going with black and gold paint.
Brammo took home 2nd and 3rd spots in the TTXGP's first ever event at the Isle of Man. This will be their first time to road race in America. Its Empulse RR is based on its upcoming consumer product and for that reason alone will be interesting to watch. Brammo scored something of a publicity coup by bringing on rider Steve Atlas who is writing some great pieces in Motorcycle USA about the machine and his experiences with it. As you can see below, there's also some video documentation.
The field also includes Kenyon Kluge who raced at Infineon last year under the K Squared banner on a tricked-out Zero S. This year sees him with Volt Motorcycles, who haven't shown off what they're bringing to the party.
Lastly, Protomoto Racing with its EV guru Ely Schless will be competing. We know he had a hand in the building of last year's Barefoot Motors entry but have no idea what to expect this year.
For those not able to attend, it will be broadcast over Speed2 in the US. We wish everyone the best of luck on the track and look forward to seeing some exciting racing.