Gas reigns supreme in power race
Gas bikes won the day in the Current Vehicles Power Challenge Race at the Rubis Southside Raceway on Sunday — with the sole electric motorcycle entry being black-flagged for a technical issue.
Raced by top local rider Jevaughn “Squirrel” Simons, the bike — built on the island by Team Oni Racing Club (Torc) — was summoned to the pits with two of the ten laps remaining. Reaching speeds of up to 115 kilometres per hour, the electric bike was powered by an off-grid solar panel installation on the roof of a BeSolar van and raced in the Formula Open class.
Devon Bailey claimed the chequered flag, with Edward Cook coming second and Dandre Outerbridge finishing third.
The trio took a share of the $1,000 in prize money, put up by Current Vehicles — a Bermuda-based electric car rental company.
Simons said the electric bike required more work to race against its gas counterparts.
“In all aspects the bike is great for the street,” Simons said. “As a track bike, it still needs a lot more development. I was black-flagged because the stand wasn’t taken off the bike.”
David Cahill, the Bermuda Charge director, said he hopes the race will stimulate conversation about zero-emission vehicles.
“It was quite fascinating to watch a machine, powered only by Clearwater Beach sunshine, compete in a race against highly tuned gas motors, he said.
“The bike looked great and it was really fast, the team at Torc will spend the year developing it for a win next year. We’re certain that the race and the $1,000 grid prize will encourage more zero-emission entries next year, helping to develop the industry in Bermuda.”
The race formed part of the Bluewave Bermuda Charge Charity Ride-Out and Automotive Energy Expo. A celebration of the island’s motoring culture, the ride-out started at Dockyard Vintage Transport Museum and finished at Clearwater Beach.
Cahill added: “The auto show at Clearwater was a celebration of energy, with both gas and zero-emission offerings well represented by our many sponsors.
“We had classic and vintage cars, trucks and bikes lined up side by side with state of the art electric street bikes and their gas equivalents.
“There were so many unique features including test rides on innovative scooters and electric pedal bikes, and everyone who attended found something to amaze them.”
The event was a warm-up for the Bermuda Charge, a proposed three-day meet held during the Labour Day weekend, which hopes to feature some of the sport’s leading riders in a short-sprint, time-trial format from Clearwater Beach to Stone Crusher Corner.