The organizers behind the 2011 EVCup have just announced that its 2011 season has been cancelled, with further racing events held off indefinitely.
Launched back in January last year, the EVCup promised all the thrills and spills of gasoline-fueled car racing, without any of the noxious gasses or noise.
The idea was so well supported that even former BBC Top Gear ‘Stig” Ben Collins signed up to become a driver -- along with American Le Mans veterans and eco-champions Drayson Racing.
Drayson Racing was drawn to the SportsEV race category, where specially-designed Westfield iRacer single-seat electric cars reached speeds of 115 mph with a 0-60 dash of under 5 seconds, while Collins was due to step behind the wheel of a race-prepared 2011 Think City in the CityEV class.
But things started to look grim for the British-based EVCup earlier this year after South African Firm Forumlec unveiled its take on electric racing cars. With a 0-60 time of just 3 seconds and a top speed of over 150 mph, the Forumlec prototype even looked the part, taking styling influences direct from the Indy 500.
When it comes to motor sport, faster is normally better.
Four days later the EVCup announced that its planned 2011 Race series would be delayed. Blaming a lack of testing time before the race series was due to start, race organizers said that neither they nor the cars were ready for a 2011 series.
The Think City racer
Instead of starting over the summer of 2011 as originally planned, EVCup officials promised that the all-electric race series would start in 2012, with two exhibition races due to take place in California at the end of 2011 to help promote the 2012 season.
The fortunes of the EVCup carried on deteriorating however, when Norwegian firm Think -- producers of the 2011 Think City that the EVCup Organizers had planned an entire race class for -- filed for bankruptcy.
By the end of August, the largest auto racing association in the world -- the FIA -- announced that it was launching its race-series for electric racing cars called Forumla E.
With the kind of International influence the EVCup could never match, the Formula E series will have its inaugural series in 2012/13 and will no doubt attract big buck names to the world of zero-emissions motor racing.
EVCup officials are still blaming a lack of preparedness for the delay in the start of racing,
“We have done all we can to make these events possible but we could not go ahead with an event when we do not have full confidence in the cars being used to operate at the highest level of performance and reliability,” said EVCup managing director Sylvain Fillippi. “ It would do harm to everyone’s interest, including those of our commercial partners. We will now refocus our energies to the future”.
There’s not details on when the EVCup will hold its first race, but given the tough competition -- not to mention the tough time one of its primary automakers has had this year -- we’re not sure if the EVCup will survive in its current format.