TTXGP opens rulebook to public input

Electric racing series goes open source

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Jan. 14, 2010
The TTXGP is opening its rules for public input, allowing anyone to suggest rule changes.

The electric motorcycle racing series has created a wiki, allowing the public to shape the TTXGP rulebook for the 2011 season and beyond.

The decision follows the “open source” philosophy popularized by electronic-age products such as Wikipedia, the Linux operating system and the web browser Firefox. The companies behind those products allow the public to collaborate and make changes to improve the product.

“The way rules are done today is a product of by-gone era, and would not exist if we were to start now,” says Azhar Hussain, TTXGP founder. “Today, technology, globalization, communications and the pace of change would never allow it. Actually, a bit like the combustion engine really.”

Anyone can suggest TTXGP rule changes by registering online at Electric racing enthusiast and lawyer Harry Mallin has been appointed moderator. The wiki will close in August and Mallin will sift through the suggestions. The official 2011 TTXGP rulebook will be announced Oct. 24. The rulebook wiki will later reopen for input for subsequent seasons.

Changes will be considered first by merit, and second on reasons to exclude. Decisions will depend on practicality, cost, commercial value, safety and verification.

Hussain acknowledges the open source concept may backfire.

“I think it’s fair to describe this as an exercise with uncertain outcomes. But the reward is well worth the effort, so we are going to give this a go. We invite you to be part of shaping us for the future,” says Hussain. “If all goes well, then the steps we take today will become the foundation of TTXGP eGrandPrix for the future. Your contributions could become part of what drives not just the sport, but the world.”

Azhar Hussain faced criticism for conflict of interest over being the founder of both the TTXGP and Mavizen.

By making the rulebook open to the public, Hussain can avoid criticism for conflict of interest. In addition to founding the TTXGP series, Hussain is also the man behind electric motorcycle manufacturer Mavizen.

Hussain also launched a volley at the FIM and its competing electric racing series. The FIM commissioned the TTXGP to develop rules for the 2010 season before cutting ties and forming its own racing series using the same rulebook.

“Having negotiated with the governing authorities and experienced what passes for enlightened benevolence, I have been wondering if there might be a better way,” says Hussain.

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