The Australian Electric Vehicle Association

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eFXC Round 1 Race Report

The electric Formula Xtreme Championship started in 2011 as a partnership between Formula Xtreme and TTXGP.  This year however the Formula Xtreme group has gone it alone and that has meant a couple of changes to the rules.  

The race calender for 2013 has four rounds at 3 different raceways.​

  1. Rd1 eFXC 2 Races    3rd – 5th May        Wakefield Park Raceway NSW
  2. Rd2 eFXC 2 Races    23rd – 25th August    Queensland Raceway QLD
  3. Rd3 eFXC 2 Races    4th – 6th October    Sydney Motorsport Park NSW 
  4. Rd4 eFXC 1 Race    15th November    Sydney Motorsport Park NSW

This weekend saw round one kick off on a cool Friday with clear and fine conditions.  Three teams have turned up for the first round, Ripperton, Catavolt and the newcomer Varley.  Ripperton and Catavolt teams have been competing since 2011 and each year they have incrementally improved their motorcycles.  Varley is a corporate team that have experience in electric vehicles and now owns the Ultramotive company that produces their Carbon motor.

Each team have a lot to prove this year.  Catavolt is last year's champion and will pull out all stops to retain the title.  Ripperton has been runner up for the last two years and though often having the faster bike, consistency and reliability has let them down.  Varley has put their corporate name on the line, builders of Australia's own electric super car the evR-450 they have a lot to prove.

Friday practice rounds did not go well for Varley with a minor crash.  One of the cooling fans for the motor was low and touched down on a right hand turn.  The team removed the fan and created an air duct for the qualifying on Saturday.

Qualifying on Saturday had Jason Morris on the Catavolt bike getting poll position with a 1:13.531 followed by Jeff Phillips on the Varley with Daniel Ripperton on the Ripperton.  This qualifying time beat the previous qualifying record by over 3.6 seconds.

On Saturday on a late start at 2:20pm the 6 lap race was taken out by Daniel Ripperton with a total time of 7:18.027.  Daniel also took out the race lap record with a time of  1:09.878.  Catavolt came second with Varley coming in 13 seconds after Ripperton.  The lap record is 5.729 seconds faster than last year.

On the last 1.5 laps the Varley had motor heat issues causing the controller to limit power and the team spent most of Saturday afternoon improving the air ducting into the motor.  

Sunday saw an uneventful warmup run with all bikes completing with good times and no troubles.

One of the new rules allows for the second race to be a staggered start.  The setup is like a handicapped race, however the actual race times are used in the championship.  The stagger is designed to have the bikes vying for the first across the line giving a more spectator friendly event.  

Varley set off first followed by Catavolt and Ripperton out last, just over 10 seconds later than Catavolt.  Jeff riding the Varley, unfortunately on the 2nd lap, was pushing too hard into turn seven and the front slid away.  The damage was too great for him to complete the race.  Ripperton took the lead on lap 5 and finished the race 3.134 seconds ahead of Jason on the Catavolt.  Ripperton broke Saturday's lap record removing another 0.84 seconds from the time.

Varley will be ready for the Queensland round in August, Catavolt will have water cooling and possibly a whole new bike.  Ripperton will be making handling adjustments and it will be on for all comers.

Photos can be located here

Tony Castley
 
(Words and photos by Tony Castley)
 
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