SCORE Baja 500 Pro UTV NA Class Win for Honda Talon Factory Off Road Racing


SCORE Baja 500 Pro UTV NA Class Win for Honda Talon Factory Off Road Racing

Ensenada, Baja California Mexico

The 54th SCORE Baja 500 held on June 4, 2022, proved to be an overall challenging day for the Honda Off-Road Factory Racing Team. But the No. 1925, piloted by Zach Sizelove, drove a flawless race to capture the top of the podium in the Pro UTV NA class. The 463 mile race course starting and finishing in Ensenada, Baja, Mexico, was another brutal, rocky, technical run across the varied terrain of Northern Baja. This year’s edition brought out 261 entries, with only 156 crossing the finish line.

The No. 709 Honda Ridgeline, driven by Team Principal Jeff Proctor, had another solid race start – making their way through the field with successful passes. Unfortunately, they lost a gear around RM 18 and ultimately decided to retire from the race at RM 27.

Proctor said, “This was such an unusual break for us. We seem to be on a run of bad luck with the Ridgeline. Our prep is always the best and our team is well prepared, so when these types of things take you out of contention, it’s heartbreaking.”

The bright spot for the Honda Off-Road Team was the No. 1925 Honda Talon’s campaign. Zach Sizelove and the team followed and executed their plan flawlessly, with no flats or mechanicals, taking only fuel at their pit stops. It proved to be a very competitive class with the top five finishing within an hour of each other. Sizelove’s finishing time was 12:42:26.

“The Honda Talons have proven their durability and now we’re showcasing the consistency of the platform,” said Proctor, “The Talon program is really finding its groove. I think we’ve found the right combination of drivers, set-up and crew. And I’m super proud of Zach and his dedication to the team. He does the work and it continues to show. This class win is Zach’s second in a row.”

Sizelove says, “My plan for this race was to charge early and get past as many cars as possible, because I knew the last 50 miles of the race was going to be extremely rough and technical. I didn’t want to be in a position where I would have to push where the course was the roughest. So, I was able to get the lead by mile 60, and from there I kept a steady consistent pace. I was able to maintain a 20-30 minute gap over second place for the majority of the race. I have to thank Maxxis tires and KMC wheels for making such a great product, I was very lucky to not get a flat this race. The course was extremely rocky and rough.”

Ethan Ebert in the No. 1999 Honda Talon also ran a great race. In only his fourth start as a Pro UTV driver, and first start in Baja, he initially finished third but was assessed an eleven+ minute penalty, pushing him to fifth place. Another testament to the close finishes in the class. Ebert’s official time was 13:26:24.

Proctor continues, “Ethan really embraced his first Baja racing experience – from pre-running to the race, he had so much new information coming at him. He kept it all together. I’m proud of his efforts and I’m excited to watch him become more and more competitive.”

The No. 1920 Talon of Elias Hanna also encountered early race problems forcing a retirement. Another disappointing turn of events for the team.

The next race for the Honda Off-Road Racing team is the Best In The Desert Vegas to Reno in August.

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, 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 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