Team Honda Racing Ridgeline Enlist Talented Driver Roster for 2018 SCORE Baja 1000
Ensenada, Baja California MexicoThe famed SCORE Baja 1000 off road desert race holds allure to all of motorsports. Drivers from all disciplines come from all corners of the world to take part in this iconic race with hopes and dreams to make their mark in history. Like so many before who have conquered the Baja; this race, that seems larger than life, holds the power to transform racing prominence into legendary greatness. Perhaps molding a new hero, Team Honda Racing has tapped international open wheel specialist, 2016 Indianapolis 500 Winner, and 2018 IndyCar Series Champion runner up Alexander Rossi to start the Baja 1000 in the Honda HPD Ridgeline.
The former Formula 1 racer will take the first leg of the challenging long distance off road race and split up driving duties with Honda Racing Ridgeline Team Principle; Jeff Proctor, Team Manager; Pat Daily, and Baja Racing super star; Johnny Campbell.
As a top tier racing professional, Rossi will be in good company with Team Honda Racing Ridgeline. Leading the outfit, Jeff Proctor stresses team work, commitment, and strategy. After extensive training and preparation, the team is well organized, and the entire driver line up is confident and comfortable. Additionally, the Honda HPD Ridgeline Team is carrying a lot of positive forward momentum with 4 out of 4 podiums which includes 3 wins this season alone. “We plan to take this momentum down to battle Baja and put this Honda Ridgeline on the top step of the podium,” declared Jeff. Proctor has won the SCORE Baja 1000 in his No. 709 Honda Ridgeline in both 2015 and 2016.
Alexander Rossi commented on the new opportunity: “I am super excited to be a part of the Baja 1000 with the Honda Off Road Team. This is my first time racing anything even remotely like this. I’m used to several thousand pounds of downforce and no power steering. To say this is unlike anything I’ve ever done is an understatement, but I’m confident in being able to perform in the truck right away.”
“I got the chance to get in the truck for the first time a couple weeks ago, and it totally blew my mind. Jeff Proctor and my co-driver Evan have been great teachers so far and I look forward to working closely with them in the coming weeks. Now it’s just counting the days until we get to Mexico for some pre-running time.”
“I did this to take on the challenge of off road desert racing, plain and simple. Honda is a great partner of mine, and I’m appreciative they’ve helped make this happen with Jeff’s team. It will be cool and I am pumped to share the Baja experience with our fans.” – Driver Alexander Rossi
Alexander Rossi joins the likes of former Indy 500 winners who have raced in the SCORE Baja 1000 such as Parnelli Jones, Rick Mears, Danny Sullivan and Buddy Rice. Where a typical Indy 500 race may take 4 hours from start to finish, the Baja 1000 has a 36 hour limit before being timed out and the race winner is expected to finish the race in approximately 13 hours.
Jeff Proctor has carefully formulated a plan that matches up each driver’s section and best suits their characters. Rossi will start out and race to San Felipe. Proctor will take over driving through Frog Canyon and then over to Highway 1 at Race Mile 380. Daily will get in and start the journey North to Race Mile 600 before handing it off to Campbell who will take it to the Finish.
“A lot goes into this,” admitted Jeff. “If you are not working on getting ready for the Baja 1000 all year, you are behind. This year, we have been moving our markers forward and achieving all of our objectives so far. We have one more left, and that is to win the Baja 1000. I am thrilled and honored to be sharing the wheel with Alexander Rossi, Johnny Campbell and Pat Dailey for this race. Baja is always tough, but we are well prepared with a very capable Ridgeline race truck and look forward to continuing our momentum to end this season on a high note.” –Team Principal / Driver Jeff Proctor
A critical component to handling many moving parts of Team Honda Racing Ridgeline is Team Manager Pat Daily. “I’m really excited for this year’s Baja 1000. To share driving duties with Baja Champion Jeff Proctor, Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi, and 11x Baja 1000 Champion Johnny Campbell is something really special. I’m humbled to be a part of this group of wheel men. The Evan Weller prep team has been absolutely fantastic all year with 3 wins and one 2nd place. This is my 8th Baja 1000 and I’ve never felt so prepared for one of these as I do this year with this pit crew and lineup of drivers. I am excited to get down south and start pre-running.” – Team Manager / Driver Pat Dailey
If there was ever a name tied to Baja Racing and Honda, the first to come to mind for many would be Johnny Campbell. Johnny has teamed up with Team Honda Racing Ridgeline and helped drive to the 2017 Baja 1000 Podium Finish. A true racer with grace, Campbell is known as a closer and can be counted on to bring the car home to the finish line. “I am excited to announce my return to racing for the 2018 SCORE Baja 1000 in the 4 wheel category as a driver for the Honda HPD Ridgeline team. Thank you to the team for this amazing opportunity. I look forward to joining team owner Jeff Proctor, and fellow racers Alexander Rossi, Pat Daily and our navigators Evan Weller and Michael Loomis. We are all working hard with one goal in mind, and that is a race win!” – Driver Johnny Campbell
The 2018 SCORE-International Baja 1000, the 51st edition, will be a loop race of 806.76 miles taking place in Baja California, Mexico and will start and end in the sea side town of Ensenada. Over 300 entries, from 35 U.S. States and 20 countries are expected to compete in the race revered worldwide as the “Granddaddy of all Desert Races”.
Team Honda Racing is looking for a third SCORE-International Baja 1000 Victory. It all comes down to whatever happens in the 800 plus miles of Baja desert. With a stellar line up of Honda racing talent, a solid off road race ready Honda Ridgeline, the high performance HPD Honda power, and the well-organized team of off road racing Baja veterans; the chances for a win are pretty good.
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.
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.
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