Team Honda Racing Ridgeline Wins Season Opener At Parker 425 – race-deZert.com

Team Honda Racing Ridgeline Wins Season Opener At Parker 425

Parker, AZ

Team Honda Racing Ridgeline wins their season opener at the Best In The Desert Parker 425 in Parker, Arizona. After coming off of a 2018 season best, Team Honda continues the momentum by backing up their win from last year at the grueling Parker 425.

The Arizona desert nestled along the Colorado River hosts some of the most challenging off-road terrains in the sport. The difficulty of this race is often low winds and dry dusty conditions,  making for very little driver visibility. With a storm lurking on the horizon, the conditions appeared to be uncharacteristically ideal for Off-Road racing on Saturday morning as the green flag dropped.

Team Honda drew the second starting spot as Driver and Team principal, Jeff Proctor and Navigator Evan Weller took the green flag. The duo got the holeshot off the start and headed out in the lead to battle for 3 laps on the 143-mile loop. The conditions were ideal for off-road racing with recent precipitation holding in the dust and unusually high winds blowing the occasional dust off the course.

This clean air allowed the Baja Ridgeline to maximize the Honda Performance Development tuned 3.5L twin turbo power to pull away from their class of competitors. Proctor and Weller continued to lengthen their lead and click off miles heading into their first full pit stop at the end of lap one. After a regularly scheduled pit stop of 55 gals and fresh rear General Tires, the Ridgeline headed back out onto lap two.

Lap two continued as planned with the team taking full advantage of the ideal conditions and clean air. “This Ridgeline was working so well today. We had a lot of fun pushing this Honda engine and FOX suspension to the limit” Said Weller. Proctor brought the Ridgeline in for a driver change with a 15 minute lead on their next closest class competitor.

Pat Dailey took the wheel while Weller stayed in to navigate the final lap. Dailey and Weller executed their stint in the Ridgeline by preserving the race truck and holding their track position as the team communicated their split times. The Ridgeline race truck reached the checkered flag, taking the win in class 7200 (Unlimited V6 Truck) over second place by 16 minutes for a total time of 7 hours, 30 minutes and 58 seconds.

“I am incredibly proud of this entire Honda Racing Ridgeline Team! These endurance races require total commitment and months of dedicated preparation to pull off a win in this type of unforgiving terrain. Our team is in a really good place right now; good energy, great talent, and incredible synergy.” Said Team Principal and Driver Jeff Proctor.

Team Honda Racing Ridgeline looks forward to taking this momentum next month to Las Vegas for The Mint 400March 6th-10th.

Team Honda Racing Ridgeline is supported by Honda Racing / HPDGeneral TireFOXBaja DesignsKMC WheelsSTEEL-IT CoatingsSparcoEibach SpringsNEO Synthetic OilRPI RacingPCI Race RadiosAEM Air FiltersPro EagleJE REEL DrivelineMPI Innovations, and Trayco.

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.

 

American Honda Extends 2-Year Deal With Proctor Racing Group And The Baja Ridgeline After Posting A Banner 2018 Season

Pomona, CA

Team Honda Racing Off-Road debuted at SEMA as the Ridgeline concept vehicle in 2015 and subsequently took the green flag in the prestigious Baja 1000 two weeks later. Claiming victory in Class 2 that year, the Ridgeline has gone on to post 7 victories over the last three seasons. 2018 proved to be a banner year winning 3 out of the 5 major races, a 100% finishing rate, and a 100% podium rate.

 

“The entire team has worked to develop this Ridgeline platform to compete in some of the most grueling off-road terrain in the world. We couldn’t be happier with the results this year and our continuing partnership with American Honda. We will continue to improve and grow this program” said Team Principal/ Driver Jeff Proctor. In addition to the contract extension, TSCO Racing is building an all-new truck which allows the current, first-generation Ridgeline race truck to be available for more Honda appearances and auto shows across the country.

“Having had the opportunity to briefly drive the current Baja Ridgeline, I can attest that it is an amazing vehicle for off-road desert racing,” said Art St. Cyr, President of Honda Performance Development. “With this new chassis and the powerful Honda 3.5-liter turbocharged engine, the Baja Ridgeline team will be an even more impressive competitor in desert truck racing.”

Team Honda Off-Road is hitting its stride with momentum as they focus forward to the 2019 season and beyond. Look for the Baja Ridgeline to be a consistent contender for the podium!

Team Honda Racing Ridgeline is supported by Honda Racing / HPDGeneral TireFOXKC HilitesKMC WheelsSparcoEibach SpringsNEO Synthetic OilRPI RacingPCI Race RadiosAEM Air FiltersPro EagleJE REEL Driveline and STEEL-IT Coatings.

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.

Ridgeline Baja Race Truck Closes Out Season with Baja 1000 Podium

NOVEMBER 18, 2018
  • Ridgeline Baja Race Truck finishes second in Class 7
  • Honda continues a streak of Baja 1000 class victories and podiums
  • Honda Off-Road Racing Team completes five-race 2018 season with three class victories and two second-place results

ENSENADA, Mexico (Nov. 18, 2018) – The Honda Off-Road Racing Team and its Ridgeline Baja Race Truck completed their 2018 season with a hard-fought second-place Class 7 finish this weekend in the 51st running of the BFGoodrich SCORE Baja 1000.

Making his off-road racing debut, 2016 Indianapolis 500 champion Alexander Rossi and veteran navigator Evan Weller took the green flag just after 12 p.m. PST on Friday.  By the 40-mile mark, the pair had the Ridgeline in the class lead despite a well-publicized “near miss” with spectator vehicle.

Heading south at speed over a series of rolling jumps, the Ridgeline encountered a slow-moving northbound SUV.  Narrowly avoiding a head-on collision, Rossi and Weller clipped the right-side mirror off the SUV while passing it in mid-air as both vehicles and their occupants continued without further injury or contact.

Rossi and Weller continued to lead Class 7 – for unlimited, six-cylinder trucks and SUVs – until encountering a backlog of race traffic while traversing one of the notorious Baja silt beds.  The resulting delay dropped the pair to second in class, where they continued to run until the first scheduled pit stop in San Felipe.

Team owner Jeff Proctor took over the driving duties for the second leg of the race, a relatively uneventful run as Proctor and Weller continued to close on the Class 7 lead through the team’s second scheduled pit stop at Mile 380, near the southern edge of this year’s closed-loop, 808-mile circuit.

Pat Daily, team manager and driver for Honda Off-Road Racing, took over the controls for the third leg of the contest.  However, the team was soon delayed by another silt bed, then lost additional time in the early morning hours due to a bottleneck of race traffic in a narrow mountain pass as the race course headed north to return to the finish in Ensenada.

As a result, the Ridgeline was running third when 11-time Baja race winner Johnny Campbell took over the driving duties from Weller during the third scheduled pit stop at Mile 600.  Charging hard for the final 200+ miles, Campbell moved the Ridgeline into second place.  Campbell continued to keep the Honda second in class, despite a late race scare when he briefly put the truck on its side in the final hour.

The second-place finish continued the Baja Ridgeline’s run of success in the longest off-road race, including class wins in both 2015 and ’16, and a second in 2017.

In five races this season, the Ridgeline produced class victories at the Parker 425 in February, the Baja 500 in June and August’s Vegas-to-Reno race; plus a second-place finish at the Mint 400 and this weekend’s Baja 1000.

Powered by a twin-turbocharged V6 engine produced by Honda Performance Development, the Ridgeline Baja Race Truck features a body designed by Honda R&D Americas’ Los Angeles Design Studio. Making approximately 550 horsepower, HPD’s 3.5-liter HR35TT engine uses the same block and cylinder heads as the production V6 that powers the production Ridgeline.  Additional, custom elements of the powertrain include an HPD-designed intake plenum and custom Engine Control Unit programming.

Alexander Rossi (Indianapolis 500 champion, driver Ridgeline Baja Race Truck)“It was an amazing experience.  We came here, and obviously wanted to win, so I’m disappointed we weren’t able to do that.  But this is a great group of people.  It’s an amazing experience, I loved every second of it.  I’m ready to come back next year.  A huge ‘thank you’ to everyone involved.  It’s an eye-opening experience, and I’m so grateful to Jeff [Proctor], Honda and HPD for giving me the opportunity. Thanks to all the fans as well!”

Jeff Proctor (team owner/driver Ridgeline Baja Race Truck): “Baja is incredibly tough.  A lot of this race is just overcoming challenges.  Unfortunately, we got stuck in some pretty nasty silt around [mile] 390.  It was a ‘graveyard’, there were over 50 competitors stuck there.  We had a recovery vehicle there to pull them out, but even that took a long time.  We were prepared, but still, Baja bit us. The big thing is, the truck’s here at the finish line, and everybody’s safe.  Alex had a near tragedy at the start [nearly colliding head-on with a spectator vehicle on course] but thankfully he and [navigator] Evan [Weller] are okay. Overall, we’re bummed we didn’t get the class win we wanted, but we’re happy to be here at the finish line.”

Johnny Campbell (driver, Ridgeline Baja Race Truck, 11-time Baja motorcycle champion): “It was a long, long Baja for us.  It was a race of overcoming obstacles, and that’s what our team had to do.  It was fun for me, being able to drive the Ridgeline.  It performed really well.  Except for a ‘rookie mistake’, when I tipped it up on its side a little bit, it was a clean run for us.  I really want to thank everyone on the team, all the guys did a phenomenal job.”

Evan Weller (team manager/driver Ridgeline Baja Race Truck): “This is my eighth Baja 1000, and every year it seems like it just gets tougher and tougher.  This year, for sure, we had a really tough section. We got stuck in a really bad bottleneck on a hill climb.  That’s probably where we lost the majority of our time.  That was about a two-hour ordeal, the result of a single truck stuck at the top.  I think we would’ve caught [the leader] without that problem.”

Team Honda Racing Ridgeline Enlist Talented Driver Roster for 2018 SCORE Baja 1000

Ensenada, Baja California Mexico

The 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 superstar; 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 teamwork, 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 of 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 wheelmen. 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 seaside 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.

Team Honda Racing Ridgeline is supported by Honda Racing / HPDGeneral TireFOXKC HilitesKMC WheelsSparcoEibach SpringsNEO Synthetic OilRPI RacingPCI Race RadiosAEM Air FiltersPro EagleJE REEL Driveline and STEEL-IT Coatings.

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.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement