New Year, Big Plans for Honda Off-Road Factory Racing
After a long and unpredictable 2020 season, the Honda Off-Road Factory Racing team is welcoming 2021 with new partners and new drivers.
Despite the obstacles, the team chalked up 2020 as a success, Jeff Proctor, Team Principal, recounts, “2020 certainly kept the world on its toes. Our team found ways to adapt and even take advantage of the scheduling changes. The Talon development program made advances that led to podiums and even a class championship. The team stuck it out with great attitudes, and we found success. Now, it’s time to build on everything we’ve learned and take our race programs to the next level. That includes new drivers for the Talons. And announcing a new tire partner, Maxxis.”
To start the season, Honda Off-Road Factory Racing will campaign two Honda Talons and the Ridgeline at the famous King of the Hammers race event in Johnson Valley, CA. The Talons will race on February 3rd in the UTV King of the Hammers race and the Honda Ridgeline will compete against Spec TT trucks, for the first time, in the B1 / T2 Battle on the Lakebed on January 31st.
Piloting the specially KOH prepped Honda Talons, are Ultra4 racing young guns and veterans, Bailey Cole and Jordan Pellegrino. They bring their years of experience and winning traditions to the Honda team to continue to showcase the performance versatility of the Talon Racing platform. Racing the Talons is double duty for both drivers, as they will also race in the King of the Hammers 4400 class later in race week.
Bailey Cole brings his many Ultra4 podiums and a 2019 4800 class National Championship experience to the team as they take on the unique terrain and challenges of the KOH race course. He says, “I am incredibly excited to be partnering with the Honda Talon Racing team this year for King of the Hammers. After considerable testing, can say with full confidence, that the Talon is ready to take on Johnson Valley’s rugged terrain.”
Jordan Pellegrino comes from a family of KOH racing specialists and a hands-on attitude, “I am proud to be a part of the Honda Team this year and I’m excited to bring my knowledge and winning experience to the table to get one of these Talons on the podium. I take pride in my skills to prep, repair, build, tune and race Ultra4 cars. Which, I think, will add a new dynamic to the Honda Team. I love the challenge, and every single day in the Johnson Valley terrain, brings a new challenge of some sort and something new to learn. I can’t wait to see what KOH 2021 brings for the Honda team as well as our 4400 class effort!”
The B1 / T2 Battle on the Lakebed is a new endeavor for the Honda Ridgeline. More firsts for the team include, competing on 40” Maxxis Razr MT’s and a new body style to reflect the new OE design launching in February 2021. Proctor continues, “We’re excited to work with Maxxis as our racing program grows.
Their SXS tire line-up is one of the best and I’ve been blown away by the performance of the all new Razr XT.
We look forward to a long and successful partnership.” Jeff Proctor will be driving the Honda Ridgeline with navigator, Evan Weller.
Zach Sizelove will be at the helm in a Talon when the 2021 season kicks off desert racing for the Talons and Ridgeline at The Mint 400 in March, outside of Las Vegas, NV. For Zach, “This is a dream come true to drive for the Honda Corporation. I have a long history with racing Honda dirt bikes, and know first hand what a great product Honda creates. I look forward to showing off the capability of the Honda Talon platform and prove that it is the best side-by-side in the industry.” Sizelove’s considerable desert racing experience includes multiple wins and championships across many classes. An accomplishment for any racer, but especially impressive for someone so young.
For the remainder of 2021, the Honda Talons and Ridgeline are slated to compete at the Score International Baja 500, Best In the Desert Vegas to Reno, UTV World Championships and the Score International Baja 1000.
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, HPD-Honda Performance Development and Honda Powersports to create an Off-Road Racing Factory Mega Team. Jeff will not only pilot a custom unlimited Twin Turbo off-road race vehicle but also direct and oversee the team’s entire race operation, including a two car Honda Talon Side by Side team in 2020. 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
About The Honda Talon 1000R
The Team Honda Works Edition Talon 1000R Turbo features FOX Live Valve internal by pass shocks, Maxxis Razr XT Tires, KMC Wheels, STEEL-IT coated chassis, Baja Designs lights, Jsport SXS Race Suspension Kit, Sparco Seats and Harnesses, MPI Steering Wheel.
About The Honda Ridgeline
Powered by a twin-turbocharged V6 produced by Honda Performance Development, the Ridgeline Baja Race Truck features a body designed by Honda R&D Americas’ Los Angeles Design Studio, with inspiration taken from the current Honda Ridgeline, also designed and developed by Honda R&D North Americas. Key design cues drawn from the 2019 Honda Ridgeline can be seen in the front fascia, hood, roof, bed and side profile.
Making approximately 550 horsepower, HPD’s 3.5-liter HR35TT engine uses the same block, cylinder heads and crankshaft as the production V6 engine that powers the all-new Ridgeline. Additional, custom elements of the powertrain include an HPD-designed intake plenum and custom Engine Control Unit programming.
About Honda Powersports
American Honda Motor Co., Inc., is the sole distributor of Honda motorcycles, scooters, ATVs and Side-by-Sides in the United States. American Honda’s Powersports Division conducts the sales, marketing and operational activities for these products through independent authorized Honda retail dealers.
Visit // powersports.honda.com
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