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Lord (not of the ring) Drayson Lauds TTXGP

January 13, 2010

I may have been called “lord of the ring,” but a real lord, Lord Drayson, UK Minister of Science and Innovation, mentioned TTXGP, Azhar Hussain, and CRP Racing in his remarks at the European Cleaner Racing Conference today:

One last thing, I’m delighted to be launching today the new CRP electric race bike, designed for exclusive use in the TTXGP race series.

As many of you know, Azhar Hussain, the man behind TTXGP, had the vision to run the world’s very first zero-emission motorsport event in the margins of the Isle of Man TT last June.

Azhar got a fair bit of stick for doing so, but he received support from UK Trade & Investment. The event was a great success, and it has grown into an international series, with races this year in Europe and North America. It demonstrates what I said earlier: when you change the rules of the competition, new technology follows close behind.

Azhar is now behind the CRP, which boasts a good deal of British technology and sets an important precedent. I challenge other firms to develop bikes like this one – which allow enthusiasts to race against constructors. It’s a fantastic development. Great PR.

And I suppose that’s what I want to stress above all. The UK is out in front on low-carbon: the first to set legally binding targets for emissions; absolutely serious about renewables; way ahead of the limited consensus in Copenhagen. Our future industries, jobs and economic growth depend on the UK being a leading developer and manufacturer of low-carbon goods and services.

OLEV is all about affecting cultural change in line with these commitments. And yet we’re struggling to bring domestic opinion along with us.

Motorsport can lend the necessary street cred to going green. You represent the best possible response to Top Gear ridicule – to move the low-carbon story away from lentils, sandals and self-sacrifice.

It can be much more exciting than that.

Thanks for listening.

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