25/10/2012

eMotorcycle World Championship: WITTENSTEIN powertrain is runner-up

Matthias Himmelmann of the Würzburg Münch Racing Team narrowly misses out on his third world title in succession / winner of the International Championship (FIM) and European Champion 2012

Race series with electrically powered cars or motorbikes are fast gaining in popularity – worldwide. Championships, too, are meanwhile a well-established feature. Last weekend, for instance, in Daytona (Florida) Matthias Himmelmann of the German Münch Racing Team from Würzburg became Vice World Champion in the TTXGP electric racing series, making it onto the podium for the third year in succession. His top speed of 160 mph was made possible by a WITTENSTEIN AG electric powertrain specially tailored to the requirements of motor racing.

The international TTXGP (Time Trials Extreme Grand Prix) racing series sees itself not only as an attractive sporting event for a wide audience but also as a pioneer in the development of eMobile driving and vehicle technologies. A maximum power weight / power ratio, the highest possible torque and a compact space envelope are a must. Exciting sporting challenges provide a framework for testing new technologies with regard to their suitability for everyday use, the opportunities they create and their limitations, then using the findings as a basis for further optimization. As a sponsor and technology partner of Münch Racing, WITTENSTEIN AG accumulates valuable experience and know-how through the contribution made by its drives to eBike racing. Temperature stability is just one good example that can be cited here. In the same way as combustion engines or the electric motors of tools and household appliances, electric drives generate heat as soon as they are operated – the more power, the more heat. In the qualifying session for the World Final, for instance, the eBike's powertrain reached a maximum temperature of almost 200°C. Knowing this, WITTENSTEIN deliberately incorporated a special kind of thermal insulation that is capable of withstanding anything up to 220°C – and insights such as this are simultaneously aiding the development of close-to-series powertrain solutions for electric vehicles. To quote one topical example, WITTENSTEIN is currently supplying a complete powertrain comprised of a motor, gearhead and electronics for high performance electric scooters to a major automotive manufacturer in its role as development and project partner.

 

From the continental qualifying competition to the World Final in Daytona

TTXGP is an international racing series in which the winning and runner-up teams are initially determined in three continental championships. At this year's season finale the best drivers and teams from Europe, Asia / Australasia and North America battled it out for top honours on the three-and-a-half mile long Daytona International Speedway from October 17 to 21. Matthias Himmelmann of the Münch Racing Team, champion in 2010 and 2011 and winner of the European series in 2012, had high hopes of carrying off the title again this year.

 

Vice World Champion with 150 hp and 160 mph

The high-speed racetrack had already made tough demands on both driver and materials on the practice days. The WITTENSTEIN drive installed in the Münch eBike, an electric model explicitly designed for motor racing, achieved an electrical output equivalent to 150 hp after further fine-tuning to meet the special requirements of the Speedway. During the free practice sessions, Himmelmann reached a top speed of 160 mph on the straights – significantly faster than many motorcycles with a combustion engine. He then secured third place in the qualifying race, clocking up his best lap time so far.

Himmelmann began the World Final according to plan, holding onto his good starting position and quickly moving up to second place. Despite this, he could not find a way to get past leader Steve Atlas, the North American champion, for the remainder of the race. Himmelmann crossed the finishing line as runner-up – a tremendous success as far as the Münch Racing Team was concerned in view of the totally different opportunities available to the US and Chinese teams with their optimal financial footing.

The Vice World Championship fits seamlessly into a whole series of successes enjoyed by Matthias Himmelmann, the Münch Racing Team and WITTENSTEIN over the last few years. Himmelmann already won the TTXGP European continental series in 2010 and 2011, and was later crowned World Champion in both seasons. The Münch Racing Team and Himmelmann also came first yet again in this year's FIM (International Motorcycling Federation) World Championship racing series. On top of that, he played a vital part in winning the series' Constructors' Championship together with his teammate Katja Poensgen, who was runner-up. Their impressive tally for 2012 thus comprises the International Championship (FIM), the European Championship and now, at the season finale, the Vice World Championship (TTXGP).