Willow Springs eMotoRacing Race Reports, 2015

AHRMA once again hosts the Woodcraft Technologies’ eMotoRacing zero emissions road racing series at one of America’s iconic racetracks. Seven competitors from around the US made the grid on Saturday, for the first of the weekend’s two rounds. Time Warner Cable TV is on hand to interview the riders and teams, and to cover this exciting event.

The Hollywood Electrics Racing Team fielded three Zero SR based electric racebikes. Jeff Clark, Nathan Barker, and Brandon Nozaki-Miller had practiced the weekend before at this same raceway in preparation for the long awaited Zero-Brammo showdown. Zero SR mounted Doug Smith joined the grid as a post entry.

eMotoRacing series regulars Murrae Haynes of New Mexico, Pete Nicolosi of South Carolina, and the defending class champion Arthur Kowitz of Daytona Beach, Florida all were riding Brammo Empulses.

Kowitz’ (myself) Brammo TTX sports a carbon fiber fully steamlined body that has helped this fast ebike to pace the field at many previous events. However, this weekend was challenged with a US Weather Services Severe Wind Advisory of 36+ hours of prevailing and gusty winds up to 55 mph. Under these conditions the streamliner was difficult to ride at the edges of traction. Consequently, the decision was made to remove the bodywork and race ‘au natural’. With this change in configuration came an intermittent power cut out.

As the green flag dropped on Saturday’s race, Kowitz gets a sharp holeshot on the field, only to have his bike cut out early on lap one. Three of the well prepared Zeros form an impressive freight train up to the front and proceed to check out on the field. Jeff Clark takes the win with a flawless ride, all eight laps being fast and steady. Doug Smith in second and Nozaki-Miller in third overall.

The first Brammo finisher was Pete Nicolosi in 4th position overall.

The light, nimble, and fast Zeros appear to be dominant, and favorites for the second round on Sunday.

Sunday’s race begins in similar fashion, but motorsports can be unpredictable. On lap 4, Zero mounted Doug Smith crashes in some on track oil presumably left by one of the gas bikes sharing the track. The race is red flagged to care for the rider, and clean the track. The field is sequestered on hot pit road for a 20 minute delay. Now, battery capacity and drivetrain heat become issues. The uncounted warm up lap, the red flag lap, and the rigors of two starts are a concern to all riders as they impatiently await the restart.

While on the grid, Nozaki-Miller and his team try unsuccessfully to repair a critical broken footpeg mount. Clark remains as the man to beat.

The somewhat heavier, and more complex Brammos have up to now given a little in speed. That is in part due to a water cooled motor, and a complex battery system.

Upon the restart, predictably, Clark sets the pace on his Zero, with Nicolosi and Haynes on their Brammos in hot pursuit. Haynes is the only bike left in the field that sports a fairing, giving him a potential edge in power conservation, in what is shaping up as a battle of attrition.

With pressure mounting behind him, Clark must keep up his pace to maintain the lead heading into the final lap. His pace slows dramatically as power wanes. Nicolosi has been stalking and now pounces on the leader in Willow Springs famed turn nine onto the front straight, taking the lead and the win. Haynes also maintains his power and is rewarded a steady 3rd place behind Clark.

The next eMotoRacing round is only days away at Sonoma Raceway in Northern California. There are several other teams poised to join these same riders at Sonoma’s more technical (and less windy) racetrack.

Visit eMotoRacing on Facebook and eMotoRacing.com for pictures and more information about this ground breaking series.

 

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PRESS RELEASE: The Woodcraft Technologies eMotoRacing Series comes to California for 2 back-to-back events

California Dreamin' - the eMotoRacing series heads back to the hip state of California for a challenge between the Zero and Brammo bikes!

California Dreamin’ – the eMotoRacing series heads back to the hip state of California for a challenge between the Zero and Brammo bikes! (Rider: Ricky Orlando)

The Woodcraft Technologies eMotoRacing Series comes to California for 2 back-to-back events.

The big track at Willow Springs will host two eight lap electric road races on April 25 and 26.

Later the following week, Sonoma Raceway will be the site of two more rounds of zero emissions racing, April 30 and May 1.

A three bike team sponsored by Hollywood Electrics of Los Angeles will pit specially prepared Zeros against the Brammo Empulses that have dominated the series in 2014 and so far into 2015.

Willow Springs International Raceway

The exciting track at Willow Springs International Raceway

Riders Jeff Clark, Brandon Nozaki-Miller, and Nathan Barker will pilot the Zero Team.  Brammo riders include Pete Nicolosi of NC, fresh from a win at NOLA, Murrae Haynes of NM, and defending series champion Arthur Kowitz on his solar powered streamliner.

Last year’s winners at Willow Springs was Dave Roper and Arthur Kowitz. Winner for both races last year at Sonoma was Eric Bostrom.

Later in the season, the eMotoRacing events at Miller and NJMP will showcase prototype road racers built and campaigned by university student teams. These teams will compete against the Brammo and Zero production based bikes.

For additional information on this ground-breaking series, visit eMotoRacing.com and on www.facebook.com/eMotoRacing

Pics from Willow Springs and Sonoma during eMotoRacing’s 2014 season // © Abe Kowitz

 

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Results from Willow Springs Raceway, California

Welcome eRace Fans! eMotoRacing had a great weekend of racing with AHRMA at Willow Springs, California.

There were three Brammos and a Zero on the track, with all the bikes finishing both races at full speed.

WillowSprings2014-05

 

Competitors were:
  • Legendary TT winner Dave Roper on a Brammo
  • Motorcyclist magazine test rider Zack Courts on a Brammo
  • M1GP ace Jeff Clark on a Zero
  • Moto-journalist Ed Milich on a Brammo
  • AMA Superbike pioneer Arthur Kowitz on a Brammo

Dave Roper won round one on Saturday (best lap time 01:50.546), and Arthur Kowitz won the eight lap race on day two (best lap time 01:45.221).

(check out the below GoPro video made by Arthur Kowitz)

(click a pic below to view full-size gallery)
© Abe Kowitz – please credit if used in media press releases

This coming Thursday and Friday, May 1 and 2, will be the next round in the eMotoRacing series at Sonoma Raceway in Northern California’s Wine Country.

This will be eMotoRacing’s biggest event ever with several factory Zero entries, two Brammo factory entries and several privateers.
Notable riders will include Eric Bostrom, Dave Sadowski, Doug Smith, Arthur Kowitz.

Also in the paddock will be the Solar Alternative of New Orleans’ solar generating trailer, which will charge two of the racers completely emission-free.

Come out to Sonoma to join in the excitement!

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