Nova Electric Racing Electric are Moto E European champion 2017
The student team of the TU Delft has obtained the first place across three races this past weekend at World Class circuit of Donington Park Circuit securing themselves the coveted European Electric cup title . The purpose designed and built electric racing motorcycle was build for this this unique competition and the hard work of the team was evident every round. The win was hard fought throughout the season, with many twists and turns.
A group of 14 students forms the team of Nova Electric Racing. Together, they have given everything last year to build a competitive motorcycle for racing in the Moto E Championship. From managing the team, to the design, building and racing of the motorcycle, everything needs to be perfect to obtain the first spot. The head quarter of the Dutch team are found in the D:DREAM hall of the TU Delft, together with a few other student teams; here, they are lucky to be granted the space and freedom to build and design. Their rider, and 2017 champion is Casper Voogt, is a former team member who, after his Nova-time, has set up the racing team “El Pollo Loco.” His racing experience has been invaluable in the development of the motorcycle every round; enthusiastically helping the team with the setup of the motorcycle. A good rider who know how to give feedback to the team is a great asset to any team developing a motorcycle from the ground up.
Although the electric motor is lighter than a classic internal combustion engine, the main challenge is the weight and placement of the battery pack. The in total 200kg weighing bike has a continuous power of 140kW (190hp) and a torque on the rear wheel of more than 500Nm. In racing conditions, it will hold up for around 40 kilometres, before running out of batteries. By designing the frame and swingarm ourselves, it was possible to efficiently create space for the battery pack and electronics. Next to this, the own-produced carbon fibre seat and fairings contribute to a lightweight bike.
Coming to Donington Park Circuit is always exciting, but even more so for the Moto E series finale. As we go into the weekend the leaders are neck a neck with everything to win, and of course lose. These next two days will determine who will be crowned victor of the 2017 and go down in history of electric racing.
The morning session saw a qualifying session that was faultless for the two lead racers, #85 Nova racings Casper Voogt and Bath Universities #25 Matthew Reese, both have never been to Donington Park so were still learning the track. This weekend all the ebikes joined the No Limits Racing 600 and pre injection 600 class. The early morning saw a light drizzle which resulted in a slightly damp and slippery track for the qualifying session (9:35am), it was precarious with several bikes ending up in the gravel and the session being red-flagged. Undermined, pole position within the electric class was secured for the afternoons race by Nova’s Casper Voogt, whose fastest laptime 1:27.686 saw him qualify 20th out of a total of 36 entrants into the 600 class in his first ever time out on track.
So to the afternoons race. “For the first race of the final race weekend of the season, the bath zero team looked forward to attempting to score the maximum number of points they could in the final three races.
Matt Rees riding ‘Apollo’ took it steady in the race, Donington Park being a new track for the team. Recent upgrades aimed at improving the reliability of the motorcycle showed their value and the bike ran without a hitch. The battery pack is showing it’s age and limits the top speed of the bike but the bike performed consistent lap times for the whole 10 lap race, gathering useful experience for the team.” Joe Lawrie commenting for Bath University. Indeed Rees’s times were vastly improved from the morning sessions scoring a fastest laptime of 1:29.022; a four and half second gain that was achieved consistently in every lap.
“Being the first time to ride on this track for our rider, Casper Voogt, the qualification session of this morning was at the same time a practice to get to know the track. He came prepared though, having memorised the track beforehand, which showed in his lap times. Getting better each lap, we qualified with a 1.27 time, placing us first in the MotoE competition.
As part of the race strategy, we decided to not take part in the warmup lap, though, in order to save valuable energy to use as an extra to finish the race.
Starting from the pitlane, ultimately this qualifier position did not matter, but the lap times kept improving!
With a fastest lap of 1.23.1, we obtained a first place in the opening race of this weekend’s MotoE competition. We are very happy with the results so far, having learned a lot from our longest race with the motorcycle. We look forward to what tomorrow’s races will bring!” Team Manager Floris Staver said as the team celebrated the first win of the weekend. With two races still to play for, and only a 5point lead, the team can’t rest on its laurels and will be preparing hard for tomorrow race.
MotoE were very excited to be back at Pembrey for the second round of this years cup. The weekend started promising with both teams fielding machines they had spent the last month improving:-
Nova Electric racing team had a mixed result In the last round, winning a race and then suffering from a DNF at the last round, team manger Floris Straver said “After the problems from last race, we managed to track them down to the motor controller here in Delft. With the great support from UniTek GmbH, We were able to send it over for specialized repairs and even got an upgrade of the firmware. We thank them for their continued support.
We are looking forward to the next MotoE race in Pembrey. With the data from last race we managed to improve the bike, so keep an eye on us this weekend”
The morning practice was seamless for this well prepared team, with Rider #85 Casper Voogt taking it easy dialing up the power slowly. There was a quiet air of confidence about the team.
Feelings were also buoyant in the University of Bath’s camp who had a to electric new racer, Mark Purslow at the helm. “ Pleased to announce that this weekend I’ll be filling in for Mathew Rees on the University of Baths electric bike in the Moto E championship at Pembrey. Think It’s going to be a bit different from the little 125 that I was riding last weekend… but I can’t wait.”
The morning practice went without a hitch for the local team. Mark took to the bike with ease and found that although he needed to adjust his riding style, the bike was response and very smooth to race. The team just watched mark put down faster and faster lap times with each circuit of the track. The bike didn’t need to be restarted and the gremlins of the previous rounds appeared to be behaving.
However, The good luck wasn’t set to last.
Bath Zero were the first to experience the changing tide, after a fantastic start, #2 Mark Purslow low-sided in the first corner of the first lap.
“We had a minor low side incident on the qualifying lap. However, with the teams dedication the motorcycle is now ready for the next race of the weekend, both Mark and the motorcycle for the most part came away unscathed. We only had a bit of damage to the fairings…” Said Hannah Crewe
The qualifying session for Nova electric was a different story with #85 Casper Voogt for Nova electric racing qualifying midfield in a full grid of Demo Duo’s with the fastest lap time of 1:07.488 – And now eyeing the track record for electric racing set by UoN’s Daley Mathison in 2015 of 1.04.760. The race was set to be very interesting.
The organisers NG Racing had kept a keen eye on the weather for while it was dry and sunny for Saturday, torrential rain was forecast for Sunday. By Mid afternoon it was clear Sunday could very well become a wash out, It was decided the last afternoons track session would become the first race of the weekend.
The race time was three o’clock and disaster stuck both teams, with each having difficulty starting their bikes despite moments before everything being ok. The race was on to find the fault and fix it before all the other bikes completed their warn up lap… the only option remaining for the electric competitors was to start from the pitlane. It was nail-biting but both racers managed to start their machines and join the race. But the jubilation was short lived with both suffering DNF.
An obvious disappointment from Nova Electric “We’re gutted to announce that we have had a problem with our motor controller. This resulted in us not only not finishing the race but we even have to withdraw from the entire weekend given that we cannot repair the motor controller on site. This is especially painful given the superb times ridden in the qualification showing the true potential of the Nova Bike 08. We are travelling back to Delft now to fix all the issues and we will be back in Donington Park in 5 weeks time stronger than ever!”
The news was not much better for University of Bath, “After getting the bike ready for the race at Pembrey on Saturday, there was a last minute low voltage electrical problem that we managed to temporarily fix. Unfortunately we only completed 2 laps before retiring, we know what the problem is but to fix it we would need to dismantle the battery box which we would prefer to do in our workshop.”
Despite the disappointing end to an otherwise great weekend, both teams have learnt a great deal about their drive trains and the mechanics of their respective bikes and each round sees improved lap-times and performances. Donington Park looks set to be a great race weekend with more teams set to join the grid and even a showdown with last winners is on the cards.
The second race of the day was a tense start with both teams praying for the electric gremlins to stay away. Bath has been furiously working away throughout the break making sure they fixed what was broken turned up the power a little and ensure the bikes were in perfect working order…
Joe Lawrie “Quick work in the pits to replace the faulty component got Apollo onto the start line in time for race two giving Matt Rees a chance to show the competition what Apollo was capable of.”
And do that, they did! The teams hard work and graft payed off as Rees had a flying start to the afternoons race and the two ebikes not only overtook a few of their petrol powered contemporaries but actually looked to do a real battle with each other for the top step of the podium.
“The second race of the day started perfectly, with a fresh rear tyre, having practiced our pit/race procedures quite a few times already. We were excited to see the bike from the team of Bath University and ours going head to head across the straight, having overtaken a few petrol bikes already in the process.
Sadly, in the second lap, our bike shut itself down due to an error. At this point, it wasn’t possible to restart the bike, also because of the location it broke down: a blind corner over a hill made it too dangerous to continue from there. Right now, we will examine the cause of the problem back in our workshop in Delft. With all of the valuable data obtained from this weekend, we have a good list of improvements for the bike for the next race in 3 weeks” Floris Straver, Nova Electric Racing
#25 Matthew Rees said “ it was an important test of bike for me and I have to be honest and say I was glad to be able to gain confidence with Apollo; I am really delighted that the bike had been able to be put to the test on track in race conditions, it was 200% better than when I last tested it for the team and it was very enjoyable to race it today. I would like to thank the team, as they worked hard to get the bike working with all the snags they’ve been experiencing, but as always one thing I would request is MORE POWER!
I was really pleased I managed to bring home a win for the team, they have worked so hard for me on the bike, hopefully will get even more out of the bike in the coming races”
With the second race proceeding without a hitch and Rees storming the track with a fastest lap speed of 1m22s, The team will return to Bath to fully diagnose the technical issues from the weekend and put in place repairs ahead of the next round of MotoE competition. The team hope to be able to repeat the success of the weekend and put their rider onto the podium in both races”
After a wet to mixed start to the weekend and lots of tuning and setting adjustments, Sunday brought with it beautiful sunshine and dry conditions. Both teams were in good spirits for this first race of the season. The competition this year has been thrown wide open with favourites UoN dropping out of this opening round only a few days prior citing technical issues upon their return from the Pikes Peak challenge in the USA. With everything to play for the teams were focused on not only racing each other but seeing how well they could do against the Gas Guzzlers who races in the Desmo Due Class this weekend with NG Racing.
The Nova Racing team from TU Delft in the Netherlands certainly looked like they meant business. Both teams this year were utilising a very similar drive train with an Emrax motor and Unitek controller, however Delft had gone one stage further totally changing the housing of their controller to give them better packaging options and a significant weight saving.
Floris Straver, team manager of Nova Electric racing comments, “We set our goal for this weekend to use the track time for some more testing of our bike, but we got so much more!
This first race weekend we, together with Bath Zero Emission Motorcycle team, were given the exciting chance to compete against petrol bikes in the Desmo Due / Racing Formula 400 class of the race weekend at Anglesey Circuit.
The first free practice on Friday did not go as planned, since there was a small problem with the relay box. Luckily, we managed to fix this with what was available, but didn’t get to participate in the practice. A few more testing rounds on Saturday went very well, and we managed to improve the power output of the bike.
Sunday started off early with the final practice followed shortly with the first race, where we got the first points of the competition: our rider Casper Voogt managed to obtain the first place! ”
The team certainly had to be a lot to be proud of. All the electric teams started from the back of the grid as complete unknowns this race weekend, the total number of bikes taking place was 32. This was only #85 Casper Voogt second day at Anglesey circuit, so even though still learning the very technical track he achieved a 24th place over all, even though he had to restart the bike during the race losing a couple of positions.
The same success was not shared by a very frustrated University of Bath team scoring a DNF in this their first race.
We caught up with the team’s electrical lead Joe Lawrie after the race “Bath University had an eventful weekend at the first round of the MotoE competition in Anglesey. After some promising tests at Castle Combe circuit since completing the TTZero race for the first time, the team were excited to see what Apollo could do against other electric bike competition on track.”
Saturday’s practices saw the teams bike, Apollo complete a good run of laps [they did 12 laps in practice with over 60%of the battery left by the evening proving that battery capacity was not going to be an issue for them]
However feedback from the team’s rider revealed a cooling system issue causing the motor repeatedly cut out during the second half of the qualifying session. The team worked hard overnight whilst charging Apollo to be ready for racing on Sunday. Fixing one problem but experiencing another when they least wanted to.
Just before leaving the pits for race one, a high voltage relay failure meant that Bath did not finish in race one.
The time between races would be critical for the team, with only three hour to find and solve the problem before the afternoons race.
Going into the afternoon, Nova have the lead in the championship.
Forever doing what we can to make the sport accessible yet challenging and interesting this weekend will see mixed grids at NG Racing’s weekend in Anglesey. This means there are a lot more bikes to get to race against and a lot more track time for the electric entrants to work on developing their bikes and powertrains.
The first day didn’t disappoint with both Delft and Bath showcasing machines that, from the outside at least appeared vastly superior to last seasons offering. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes with electric racing, and building and refining bikes takes a huge amount of dedication with often very little financial support.
Weight distribution improvements in the electric powertrain of Apollo, University of Bath’s machine, has greatly improved the bikes performance. The handling of the bike makes a huge difference to the confidence of the rider as well as reduced lap times.
“The bike, this years compared to last, handles like a dream. You can tell that the team have spent a lot of time and effort on the mechanical side of the bike with new fairings is just for starters. We’ve done quite a bit of testing over the period leading up to the race; and I’ve really enjoying getting to understand the bike better to achieve the best out of it. Unfortunately, today the bike kept cutting out all the way round the circuit so lost a lot of time constantly resetting it. This is the first time we have experienced this fault as it hasn’t show up previously, but the team think they know what’ s causing it so will hopefully have it sorted out before the races tomorrow” Mathew Rees, #25 University of Bath.
Nova Electric Racing from TU Delft in The Netherlands have produced a slick looking bike from the ground up for this season. The drive train is essentially the same but major modifications have taken place with the low voltage system.
“this is the first time we have ridden the bike in a race weekend and the first time I personally have ever been to Anglesey. Given these two things I am very happy with the way the bike is performing. We are turning up the power slowly so we find the limits without damaging the bike which is very important for us. The bike is so much improved compared to last year but one thing I already know will change from this round to the next is the fairings, at the moment I can’t lean properly as the fairings are touching the ground which isn’t ideal but an easy problem to solve once we get back to the workshop.” Casper Voogt #85
MotoE Season opener takes place with the fabulous NG Racing club at Anglesey Circuit this coming weekend. More than ever, the series is developing into a hotbed of future engineering talent with Universities across Europe taking centre stage to battle for electric motorcycle supremacy
Our returning champions, University of Nottingham (UoN) not only walked away with the series trophy last season but also took home the Institution of Engineering and Technology The IET) Award for Innovation. The team had consistently improved lap times across every round in the season, taking track records with them at every race. They consistently pushed their bikes to eek out gains where ever possible. Unlike many other teams, UoN had employed their own software on the control system. The only team to do so last season. They were so good they not only beat every other academic team but also all the pro’s out there as well, Team Manager Miquel Gimeno-Fabra said, “We are delighted to take part in MotoE again, we are now the team to beat and hope that our rivals push us to make our bikes faster than ever. Straight from the Isle of Man and Pikes peak, the team have had a very busy start to the year. Having Antonio join Daley as our two racers is going to be great for the entire MotoE season, we are looking forward to seeing what we can do to improve on our lap times this year. ”
Crowd favourite, University of Bath will also be back on the starting grid. “Going into 2017 our bike, Apollo, has a completely new chassis and a completely new look. This seasons “electric Ducati” has been designed with a modified 916 trellis frame to better fit our battery packs, which has all been down to the help and sponsorship of Rich at Louigi Moto to make our slimline bike. Owing to a small budget, the drive train has stayed very similar to 2016 with most of the changes going into the mechanical build, with some new bespoke carbon fibre fairings and upgraded suspension to show off. After some summer testing at our local racetrack, Castle Combe, we have adapted the setup to account for the change from road racing to track racing, and we are hoping the nimbleness of the Ducati will put is in a great position for the upcoming MotoE season. Although we may not be able to put down the same voltage as the other teams we are hoping our mechanical setup will let our rider show off Apollo’s real skills! Our rider, Matthew Rees, has been riding Bath Zeros bike for both years we have been running, and in his words we are “200% better” than last year, so hopefully we can bring home some trophies to prove it!
Giving them both a run for their money will be Nova Race team, ridden by Casper Voogt #85
Team manager, Floris Straver said “I don’t know exactly what our chances will be, especially against teams competing longer and also in other competitions. But we want to make it a good season for us this year, with some podium finishes if possible! We have improved quite a lot on last year’s bike, we have a completely new battery pack and self made bodywork with some nice aerodynamic features (side mounted radiators, a part to direct the airflow around the battery pack through the radiators). Next to that, the low voltage systems are improved as well, with an all new data acquisition system and dashboard.”
With more teams set to join them as the season progresses, there is bound to be a surprise or two in store for fans and tech heads alike.