New Day, New Rules, New Game – Be Part of it. TTXGP

Race 1 of the inaugural 2010 series will be held tomorrow, Sunday May 16th, 11:00 AM, at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA. Information here.

When TTXGP racer Jenn Bromme called organizer Azhar Hussain to tell him she had to bow out of the race due to lack of funds, he refused to hear it. Instead, he set her up with Mavizen 0001- the first one off the production line. She’s not a “Factory rider” per se, as she’s bought the bike, but this is probably the first racing series in history where the organizer is also a manufacturer. Manufacturers need a healthy racing series to compete in, both for publicity and as a rich source of innovation. As explained on the Mavizen website, they support TTXGP racers to help them get started, whether they need a complete bike or just a trick part.

At the party I ran into old friends and made new ones, as happens when a group of people who share the same obsession gather together. What makes this more exciting than any other bike event is that racing is where innovation really happens. The greatest performance innovations we enjoy now came out of racing efforts. I strongly believe that truly viable battery technology is going to be discovered in a TTXGP team workshop during a caffeine-fueled all-nighter of trying to make a bike that will enable the racer to ride the wheels off it without running out of juice before the end of the race.

Jenn rode in on the Mavizen and parked in the center of the club room so we could all ogle the bike. In talking about her first few laps on the bike, she was mostly impressed with how quiet it is. She also spoke of how tricky it is in the downhill turns on Infineon Raceway’s hilly terrain. She said it was hard to get accustomed to not having torque and engine braking to work with through the turn. I remember feeling the same way on my little Zero S test ride through the Hollywood Hills. I kept reaching for a nonexistent clutch. Ms Bromme already has quite a reputation in the San Francisco motorcycling community, her repair shop Werkstatt is extremely reputable, with service appointments booked well in advance. Also, it is the only motorcycle repair shop with San Francisco’s “Clean & Green” certification.

The party was hosted by the San Francisco Motorcycle Club, one of the oldest bike clubs in the country. Their clubhouse is a great place for a party and it was really cool to celebrate such a historic moment in a place so steeped in motorcycle history. There were pictures and trophies and even bikes from as far back as the club’s birth in 1904.

We nibbled on balsamic-glazed meatballs and sage-infused blackberries and bought raffle tickets to raise money for Jenn to be able to compete in the series. The series is being run in a way that makes it easier for privateers to compete, and reduce travel, yet also gain global recognition. There will be four races in each of the three countries involved- US, UK, and Italy. The eight fastest teams from each regional championship will win a place in the Albacete TTXGP FINAL/UEM in October.

Tomorrow is race day, so be sure to find a way around the Bay to Breakers race to get to the real racing by 11:00 AM. It will also be aired on Speed2, Speed channel’s new broadband network. This is history in the making, and not to be missed. There will also be the more traditional AMA series races at Infineon later that day, but while that series seems to be dying out, the TTXGP is the future, and I wouldn’t miss it for anything.

Check back tomorrow for a full race report as well as video from the party, and later in the week for an in-depth interview with the man making it all happen, Azhar Hussain.

Photos: Susanna Schick