Honda Ridgeline Makes The Dust Fly At The Mint 400
Las Vegas, NV
Development work continued for the Honda Ridgeline racing team at The Mint 400 off-road race in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Mint 400 race has a rich history that dates back to 1967 when Norm Johnson had an idea to help promote the Mint Hotel in Las Vegas. The Mint 400 Off-Road Rally evolved into the Mint 400 race that ran until 1989. After the Mint Hotel was sold to Jack Binion, owner of the Horseshoe club, the race lapsed for 20 years until re-born in 2008 by the Southern Nevada Off-road Racing Enthusiasts (SNORE).
After the re-birth, the race has tried to stay faithful to the original by having a Miss Mint contest, holding contingency and technical inspection in downtown Las Vegas on Fremont Street, and by having punishing race courses.
Drivers pray for silt or whoops to give them a break from the piles of sharp rocks that comprise most of the course. As the laps go by, the rocks are pulled out from the surface, making it even rougher. It was a perfect test bed for the Honda Ridgeline team who are running the toughest off-road races on the planet to launch the all new Honda Ridgeline.
After a win at the legendary Baja 1000, the Ridgeline team has been hard at work further developing their desert racing platform that uses Honda’s twin turbo HR35TT V6 engine and an Albins ST6 sequential six-speed transmission. If the truck sounds like an Indycar it’s because the HR35TT is a similar version of the turbo charged 2.8 liter V6 engine Honda has taken to Indycar victories hundreds of times and the same production based J35 V6 engine that won at the 24 hours of Daytona endurance race this year.
The type of terrain the team is subjecting the Ridgeline to is completely different than any other application that has been used. It’s been a challenge trying to replicate the kind of punishment they see during the race while testing. Once the green flag drops, the stress of competition puts everything on a whole new level. In off-road racing, you have all the challenges seen in pavement racing, but because of the terrain and the unique demands put on the suspension, it takes place in a more three dimensional realm.
The truck is very sophisticated and relies on technology from Honda Performance Development “HPD” (American Honda’s Racing Division) and exceptional components and support from General Tire, FOX, Rigid Industries, KMC Wheels, Turnkey Marketing, Sparco, Eibach Springs, NEO Synthetics, RPI Racing, PCI Race Radios, K&N Air Filters, and FiberwerX Off-Road Fiberglass. They put the truck through hell at the Mint 400 and were not able to make it to the finish but logged tons of valuable data. They learned more of what it takes to make the complete package excel in such extreme conditions. The Ridgeline team is jumping right back into testing and looking forward to their next challenge at the 48th SCORE Baja 500 June 1st through the 5th in Ensenada, Baja Mexico.
For all the latest on the Honda Ridgeline Off-road team go to: http://www.hondaoff-road.com/ or HondaOffRoadRacing on Facebook, Instagram: @HondaOffRoadRacing or Jeff Proctor on Personal Instagram: @proctor_race.
Photography By: Bink Designs
About Jeff Proctor / Honda Off Road
Jeff Proctor grew up surfing in Southern California and like most American kids played traditional stick and ball sports as well. The allure of racing was sparked from his competitive nature, but it wasn’t until starting his first business, an action sports clothing brand in his college dorm room, that Proctor was able to buy his first motocross bike and begin his lifelong journey in off-road racing.
Today, Jeff has embarked on his most ambitious chapter of his race career – Partnering with American Honda on a Honda Performance Development (HPD) – Powered Factory Off-Road Racing Initiative. Jeff will not only pilot a custom Honda unlimited Twin Turbo off-road race vehicle but also direct and oversee the team’s entire race operation. Jeff will lead his team and Honda to the podium, bringing more high-level race teams to the exciting sport of off-road racing.
Visit // www.hondaoff-road.com Honda Off Road Facebook Honda Off Road Instagram Honda Off Road Twitter Honda Off Road YouTube
About Honda Performance Development, Inc.
(HPD) is Honda’s racing company in North America and is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. Founded in 1993, HPD is the technical operations center for Honda’s high-performance racing programs. HPD specializes in the design and development of race engines, chassis and performance parts, and technical/race support. We are proud to also offer parts and race support to Honda and Acura grassroots motorsports racers, and are expanding our support of racing series and programs that make Honda racing products available to all racing styles, from karting and Quarter Midgets to the highest levels of pro racing.
Visit // www.hpd.honda.com
About Bink Designs
Bink Designs is a premier graphic design company located in San Diego, CA. Since 2003, Bink Designs has been committed to providing cost-effective solutions for clients’ high-end graphic needs. Bink Designs will work with you to develop a strategy that matches your goals. Bink Designs offers a number of services, including: Identity, Print Design, Vinyl Graphics, Web Design, Photography & Apparel.
Visit // www.binkdesigns.com