Isle of Man explains TTXGP split

Manx government says TTXGP backed out; Hussain says otherwise

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Feb. 08, 2010
The Isle of Man government has issued a statement in response to its controversial split with the TTXGP and the creation of its own event, the TT Zero.

According to the statement by the Isle of Man’s Department of Tourism and Leisure, which oversees the famed TT races, it was the TTXGP which decided not to participate in the 2010 event. Negotiations between the DTL and the TTXGP began in July following the 2009 event. The DTL says a deal in principle was in place in September but a formal proposal with a financial support package sent in October was rejected by the TTXGP.

The TT Zero will have the same status as any other class in the Isle of Man TT.The TTXGP then announced an electric automobile street race in Paris, scheduled for June 4-6, which coincides with the May 29 – June 11 Isle of Man TT. The Paris event, called the EMXGP, was announced as a car race but will feature a demo of electric motorcycles.

The Isle of Man government says it is trying to “put on record the facts regarding their decision” to respond to rumor and speculation, but the matter is far from resolved. The TTXGP announced Feb. 6 it will hold a North American eGrandPrix race at Road America for June 3-6, the same time as both the EMXGP and the Isle of Man TT, creating a scheduling conflict the DTL says they tried to avoid. The Road America race would also make it difficult for participating teams to attend the TT Zero on June 9.

The TTXGP had remained silent on the Isle of Man government’s decision, which only helped fuel speculation over the split, but following the Isle of Man government’s statement, TTXGP founder Azhar Hussain issued a response refuting the DLT’s account. See below for the official statements from both parties.

The following is the full text of the Isle of Man Department of Tourism and Leisure statement:

The Department began formal negotiations with the TTXGP Ltd team in July 2009 with a view to running another clean emissions event on The Isle of Man in 2010. On 2 September 2009, the Department formally agreed in principle to run an event and this was confirmed in writing to TTXGP Ltd. A proposal, including a financial support package, was communicated to the TTXGP team on 7th October, 2009. This proposal was rejected by the TTXGP Ltd management team. Subsequent to the original proposal TTXGP Ltd announced in late November, 2009 – without prior consultation with the Department – their plans for an event in Paris which conflicted with the TT period and effectively prevented TTXGP from participating in the allotted schedule in TT 2010.

On 21st December 2009 TTXGP Ltd advised the Department that due to their plans for Paris and their consequent inability to participate in the scheduled race in TT 2010, they proposed not to have a clean emissions race in TT 2010 and would aim to come back to the TT in 2011. TTXGP were advised that if they could not reschedule their proposed Paris event, in order to attend TT 2010 for the scheduled date, the Department would develop and manage its own clean emissions race. This was confirmed to TTXGP Ltd on 24th December, and subsequently a meeting between the Department and TTXGP Ltd was held on 15th January 2010.

TTXGP Ltd were invited to reconsider their position regarding the Paris event to enable their participation in TT 2010 on the scheduled date, but declined the opportunity to do so. The Isle of Man Government then confirmed its intention to organize its own clean emissions event and would provide a press release to TTXGP Ltd for any comments. At the request of TTXGP Ltd, the Isle of Man Government deferred the issue of its press release. Immediately after 15th January, the Isle of Man Government initiated its contingency plan in order to organise its own clean emissions race.

The Isle of Man Government made a significant investment in the TTXGP in 2009, both financially and through officer time across a number of departments. In order to protect this investment, the Isle of Man Government’s Council of Ministers decided that if the Department was unable to reach agreement with TTXGP Ltd that it should run its own event. Regulations for the new event, TT Zero, were issued this week. This race will be run as a stand-alone class as part of the 2010 Isle of Man TT races meeting.

The Department is confident that with the support of the teams and riders, and the experienced third party agencies that are involved with running the TT Races, they can build on the 2009 TTXGP race.

The teams and riders will now have direct access to funds from the Isle of Man Government to assist with their travel and other costs associated with their participation and will also benefit from the integral association with the TT races that the event will now have.

The Isle of Man Government remains totally committed to clean emission motorcycle racing and the development of the technology that is associated with clean emission machines.

The following is the full text of the statement from TTXGP founder Azhar Hussain:

I can only say that we are sorry that we won’t be there. I want to say deep heartfelt thank you to the many many people from the Isle of Man who have sent us messages of support and encouragement.

I can confirm the question of Paris or issues of financial packages were not factors in the decision making and am disappointed that it is being suggested so. We remain surprised about the decision as we did everything possible to make this happen. The decision to downgrade the zero carbon class and replace it with a vintage bike parade was made solely by the Isle of Man.

Moving forward, we are totally committed to the success of all our stakeholders and are building partnerships to spark a thriving and self sustaining eco-system around zero carbon motorsports and transportation. The economic and technical dividend in working with TTXGP is tangible, achievable and timely. Over the coming weeks, we look forward to sharing with you what that means. TTXGP is an open invitation to be on the grid for next generation of motorsports. We welcome all to be part of it.

Related Reading
TTXGP to race at Road America
Isle of Man TT splits with TTXGP
TT Zero details announced