Archive for racing

Indy Car Star Rossi Returns To Baja 1000

  • Alexander Rossi rejoins Honda Off-Road Racing Team for second Baja 1000
  • Rossi to co-drive Ridgeline with Baja veterans Jeff Proctor, Pat Dailey
  • Baja Ridgeline Race Truck seeks fourth class victory of 2019

After a headline-making debut in 2018 – including a near miss with a passenger vehicle on the race course captured on a video that went viral – Honda Indy car star Alexander Rossi will again take on the SCORE Baja 1000, driving the Baja Ridgeline Race Truck as part of the Honda Off-Road Racing Team.

An off-road “rookie” at last year’s running of the legendary race, Rossi quickly adapted to the unique demands of desert racing, which saw the Jeff Proctor-led Honda Off-Road Racing Team post a second-place Class 7 finish, the fourth consecutive first- or second-place result for the Ridgeline Baja Race Truck at the Baja 1000.

“I am more than excited to get back in this Honda Ridgeline off-road truck for the Baja 1000,” Rossi said. “It’s safe to say I decided last year, within five minutes of testing the Ridgeline for the first time, that I was going to do this again.”

Rossi is a seven-time NTT IndyCar Series race winner, including the historic 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 in 2016. For his second Baja 1000, he will again share driving duties with team owner/driver Proctor and Baja veteran Pat Dailey, with each driver covering approximately one third of the nearly 800-mile “loop” course, which will start and end in Ensenada, Mexico.

Proctor won his class in the Baja 1000 in both 2015 and 2016 with the Ridgeline, finished second in class in 2017 and 2018; and won the companion SCORE Baja 500 race both in 2016, 2018 and again earlier this year. The Ridgeline competes in Class 7, for unlimited six-cylinder production-appearing trucks and SUVs.

“We are stoked to have Alexander back racing with us in Mexico for his sophomore attempt at this iconic off-road race,” Proctor said. “This year’s 52nd annual Baja 1000 course covers ALL of the toughest terrain and areas in Baja Norte….as always, it will be tough. Alex is one of the brightest motorsports minds I’ve worked with, and he is a great asset to our team.” 

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.

Rossi is the sixth Indy 500 winner to take part in the Baja 1000. Other Indy winners who have raced in the SCORE Baja 1000 include Parnelli Jones, a two-time race winner (1971-72); fellow Honda IndyCar Series driver and Andretti Autosport teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay; Rick Mears, Danny Sullivan and Buddy Rice. Indy car season champions who have raced in the Baja 1000 include Mears, Hunter-Reay, Sebastien Bourdais, Jimmy Vasser and Paul Tracy.

“The Honda off-road guys and my co-driver/navigator Evan Weller make it so easy for me to just jump right in and go to work,” Rossi said. “I can’t wait to share the seat with Jeff [Proctor] and Pat [Dailey] once again, and hopefully, bring home a win.”

The Honda Off-Road Racing Team has had an outstanding 2019 season, including class wins for the Baja Ridgeline Race Truck at the Parker 425, the Mint 400 and the Baja 500; where the team successfully debuted the second-generation “TSCO” chassis; and a second-place Class 7 finish at the Vegas-to-Reno event.

The oldest, most prestigious and longest continuously held desert off-road race, this year’s SCORE Baja 1000 on Nov. 19-24 will be a loop race of 799.1 miles, starting and ending in Ensenada in Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. The race is the finale of the SCORE World Desert Championship. The start/finish line compound will once again be adjacent to the historic Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center in Ensenada. The car, truck and UTV classes will start at 10:30 a.m. PT on Friday, Nov. 22, with the first finishers expected to complete the race in approximately 13 hours.

Social media content and video links from the Ridgeline Racing effort at Baja will be available on HPD’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD) and on Twitter at (https://twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD).

The post Indy Car Star Rossi Returns To Baja 1000 appeared first on Blog Honda.

Legendary Integra Type R Racecar Screams Back to the Track at 9,000 rpm

  • New video from Acura features Peter Cunningham piloting historic and restored RealTime Racing Integra Type R at the WeatherTech International Challenge at Road America
  • Nearly two decades after its retirement, Integra Type R continues to hold the all-time record for SPEED Touring Car wins and championships
  • Fully-restored Integra Type R represents the spirit Acura is recapturing with Precision Crafted Performance

The combination of RealTime Racing and the Acura Integra Type R forged a race-winning record that remains unbroken after nearly two decades. In a video debuting today, Acura highlights the story of the restored RealTime Racing #42 Integra Type R returning to the track with Sports Car Club of America Hall-of-Famer Peter Cunningham behind the wheel.

The video showcases the Integra Type R’s original run in near-stock form; its dominant performance in the SPEED Touring Car championship, and its return to racing glory. The action took place this July at the WeatherTech International Challenge vintage race weekend at Road America, where the #42 car qualified and finished fourth in a field of over 60 vehicles.

“It was our first race back out with the Acura Integra Type R, and it was like we never skipped a beat. We had a great time!” said Cunningham, team owner of RealTime Racing, at the conclusion of the race. “There were some 60 cars in our group and only a few vehicles in a class above beat us, so it was a great day for RealTime and Acura and great to have the Type R back on track.”

1997 Acura Integra Type R
When it debuted in 1997, the Acura Integra Type R was much more than a faster Integra GS-R, the previous top-line trim. The Type R’s B18C5 engine became a legend in its own right for its factory modifications, the highlights of which included a hand-ported head, thinner valves and unique valve springs, robust connecting rods and numerous other upgrades, to give the Type R a screaming 8,400-rpm redline.

The Integra Type R body also benefited from extra welds for additional chassis strength and stiffness. There was an underhood chassis-stiffening strut bar straight from the factory, and the suspension and brakes were unique to Type R. The fundamental goodness of the Type R wasn’t lost on RealTime, and the factory car was so good out of the box that racing modifications for the track were limited to race-spec springs and shocks, mandatory safety equipment, such as a roll cage, and a stripped-out interior. Even the transmission was unmodified from stock.

When the Integra Type R debuted, RealTime Racing had already been competing, and winning, with Acura vehicles for nearly a decade. The team began with Acura’s first-generation Integra, and later raced with the legendary first-generation Acura NSX. From its racing debut in 1997 through the 2002 season, RealTime’s Integra Type R dominated the SPEED Touring Car Championship, capturing 23 race wins on the way to five Drivers’ Championships (Pierre Kleinubing – 1997, 2000, 2001, Michael Galati – 1998 and Cunningham – 2002) and four Manufacturers’ Championships (1998, 1999, 2000, 2002). The record remains unbroken to this day.

“We knew from the start the Acura Integra Type R was a very special car,” said Cunningham. “But now, after all these years, it’s achieved legendary status, and rightly so. I believe it’s still one of the best performing front-wheel drive cars ever built.”

About Real Time Racing
RealTime has a prosperous 33-year history of racing in a variety of motorsport disciplines. Be it a gravel road, frozen lake, permanent road course or temporary street circuit, RTR drivers have piloted Acura and Honda production-based automobiles to 19 professional motorsport titles. Based just north of Milwaukee, in Saukville, Wisconsin, the RealTime Racing team currently campaigns an Acura NSX GT3 Evo in SRO America’s Blancpain GT Pro-Am Championship. RealTime’s six wins tallied thus far in 2019 brings its World Challenge total to a milestone 100 race victories. Also in 2019, RealTime set the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Open Class record for the third time in as many years, winning again with its Acura TLX GT. Follow along as the team works hard to continue its winning ways in these popular motorsports formulas.

About Peter Cunningham
Peter Cunningham helped to put Acura Motorsports on the map after establishing RealTime in 1987. Driving for his own team and others, Cunningham won 93 professional road races, more than any other driver in North American competition. He won three IIRA Ice Racing championships (1987, 1989, 1990), an SCCA PRO Rally title (1993) and 10 road racing points championships (1988, 1989, 1990, 1995, 1997, 2002, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2012). To cap off his 35-year professional racing career, Cunningham won the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb three years in a row (2017, 2018, 2019). In 2018 Cunningham became the youngest-ever inductee into the Sports Car Club of America’s Hall of Fame.

About Acura Motorsports
Acura has been demonstrating its commitment to performance through racing for more than three decades, proving out its capabilities on the track and capturing numerous national sports car and endurance racing titles. Acura Team Penske now campaigns the ARX-05 Daytona Prototype racecar, while Acura teams with Meyer Shank Racing and the NSX GT3 in American endurance sports car racing competition. Acura also recently celebrated its eighth year of racing at the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and serves as Official Pace Vehicle of the annual ‘Race to the Clouds’.

About Acura
Acura delivers Precision Crafted Performance – a commitment to evocative styling, high performance and innovative engineering, all built on a foundation of exceptional quality and reliability. The Acura lineup features six distinctive models – the RLX premium luxury sedan, the TLX performance luxury sedan, the ILX sport sedan, the five-passenger RDX luxury crossover SUV, the seven-passenger Acura MDX, America’s all-time best-selling three-row luxury SUV, and the next-generation, electrified NSX supercar.

Five of the six Acura models sold in North America are made in central Ohio, using domestic and globally-sourced parts, including the ILX and TLX luxury sports sedans (Marysville Auto Plant), the RDX and MDX luxury SUVs (East Liberty Auto Plant) and the Acura NSX supercar, which is built to order at the Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio.

Additional media information including pricing, features & specifications and high-resolution photography is available at AcuraNews.com. Consumer information is available at Acura.com. Follow Acura on social media at Acura.us/SocialChannels.

The post Legendary Integra Type R Racecar Screams Back to the Track at 9,000 rpm appeared first on Blog Honda.

Honda’s Alex Albon Earns Career-Best F1 Finish in Japan

  • Pierre Gasly has best weekend since returning to Toro Rosso
  • Max Verstappen retired due to opening-lap contact

Honda returned to its roots this weekend as the quartet of Formula 1 cars carrying its powerplants did battle on the Suzuka circuit developed by company founder Soichiro Honda at Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix.

The weekend took on a rollercoaster feel for the Honda-powered Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Team and Toro Rosso teams, as frontrunner Max Verstappen had his day blunted by opening lap contact while rookie Alex Albon took his Red Bull machine to a career-best fourth-place finish. On the Toro Rosso side, Pierre Gasly put together his best weekend since returning to the team, turning a ninth-place starting spot into an eighth-place finish and Daniil Kvyat made up a pair of positions to place 12th.

The rollercoaster feel started well before the lights went out to start Sunday’s race. Typhoon Hagibis cancelled Saturday’s qualifying, forcing the series to run its qualifying session on race-day morning for just the fifth time in the last 20 years. Verstappen led the charge by gridding fifth, joining teammate Albon in locking down the third row. Gasly advanced into the final qualifying session to start ninth while Kvyat took the 14th spot.

When the race started three hours later, Verstappen got a strong start and swept to the outside of Charles Leclerc to make a pass for third, but Leclerc slipped left and made contact with the Red Bull car, causing damage that would end the Dutchman’s day after just 15 laps.

Albon used a two-stop strategy that kept him comfortably near the lead pack all day, and the late change for tires allowed him to make a strong pass of Lando Norris to secure the fourth-place finish. Meanwhile in the Toro Rosso camp, Gasly pitted just once for tires and managed his Pirellis admirably over the final laps, holding off Sergio Perez to place eighth.

The result dropped Verstappen into a tie fourth in the season standings with Sebastian Vettel while Gasly fell to seventh. Albon continues to hold down the eighth spot, narrowing the gap to seventh to just nine points. Kvyat is 13th with four races to go but is just two points out of a berth in the top 10.

Formula 1 will have a weekend off to travel to the North American continent for back-to-back races beginning with the Mexican Grand Prix in Mexico City on October 27.

Toyoharu Tanabe
Technical Director, Honda F1
“This was a busy day for all the teams, with the unusual schedule, during which we managed to get three of our four cars into the top ten in the morning qualifying, which was satisfactory. Verstappen’s realistic chance of a podium disappeared almost immediately after his collision with Leclerc, which led to him retiring in the garage with a badly damaged floor. For a first visit to Suzuka, Albon did exceptionally well as did Gasly, who finished in the points after just missing out on the top ten last year in Suzuka.  It was great to see the grandstand with 12,000 Honda fans and overall, a bigger crowd than in recent years. Everyone in the Honda team appreciated their support. Today’s result did not live up to our expectations, so we want to come back stronger next year and give our fans something more to cheer about.”

Max Verstappen
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
Start: 5th, Finish: DNF
“I had a really good start and I think I was up to third place. I stayed on the outside at Turn 2 but Charles drove into the side of my car. It’s a long race so there was no need to risk so much so early. I re-joined at the back of the field but my car was severely damaged and we had to retire on Lap 15. From my side I don’t think I could have done anything different. It’s very frustrating as I think we had a good chance of being on the podium again especially after such a good start, which would have been amazing for all the Honda fans supporting us. We are definitely improving and the gap is closing but there is still more work to do before Mexico.”

Alex Albon
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
Start: 6th, Finish: 4th
“This weekend has definitely felt like my best with the Team. Immediately from FP1 I felt comfortable with the car, which is important for a track like Suzuka where you need a lot of confidence, especially on your first visit! I felt like I could have done better at the start but I had too much wheel spin off the line and lost a couple of places to the McLarens. I managed to get back past them but by then I had already lost a lot of time to the lead pack. The move on Lando (Norris) for P5 was on, he gave me space and left the door open but it was a bit tight! We then managed to get past Carlos (Sainz) with some good strategy, but from then onwards we were in no man’s land in P4. It was just about managing the tires to the end but with Max’s DNF it was good to score some points for the Team and fourth was the best we could do. I’m still finding my feet but I’m happy with my progress and we took a step forward this weekend.”

Daniil Kvyat
Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda
Start: 14th, Finish: 12th  
“Everything was OK until the last lap of my qualifying. I don’t know why I was so slow on the last lap, the car felt a bit different to Friday – the conditions were quite different – but we all had to deal with it. Starting the race from P14 was not ideal and I knew it was going to be tricky. I feel like the race itself was strong, and even if we lost a couple of places at the start, from then on it was a solid recovery. It’s a shame not to score points because the pace was really good. We will need to work in order to improve our qualifying.”

Pierre Gasly
Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda
Start: 9th, Finish: 8th
“I’m very happy with today! It started really well this morning as I made it to Q3 and qualified ninth. I spent most of the race running in P7 and P8, it was really intense as Renault and Racing Point were pushing very hard. We had a suspension issue in the middle of the race which made it quite tough, so I just gave it everything I had to keep the position. There were some intense battles and I really wanted to make it to the end for the team, Honda, and for the Japanese fans who came out to support us. I’m really pleased to score points for the team, especially in Japan…it feels really special! We can be pleased with the day and we can’t wait for the remaining races.”

The post Honda’s Alex Albon Earns Career-Best F1 Finish in Japan appeared first on Blog Honda.

Honda’s Rebelle Rally Teams Navigate 2019 Honda Passport and 2018 Ridgeline Across Nevada and California Desert

  • Honda engineers ready for adventure of a lifetime in all-women 2019 Rebelle Rally off-road navigation event
  • Honda Passport and Ridgeline showcase off-road capabilities of Honda light trucks across 1,600 miles of challenging terrain

A group of Honda engineers will pursue their outdoor passions and take the company’s product development efforts to the next level as they tackle the 2019 Rebelle Rally, an all-women off-road navigation event in the United States. Starting October 10, two driver/navigator teams of engineers from Honda R&D Americas, Inc. (HRA) in California and Ohio will compete in the Rebelle Rally, the second straight year Honda has participated.

Kicking off on October 10 at Lake Tahoe, the Rebelle Rally covers eight days of competition that traverses the western portion of Nevada, crossing into Southern California to finish at the Imperial Sand Dunes. It’s not a race for speed, but a unique and demanding event where the teams strategically navigate from checkpoint to checkpoint – within set windows of time – using only maps, compasses, and a roadbook.

Team Challenging Spirit (#203) to Drive the 2018 Honda Ridgeline

Team Challenging Spirit #203 features Sharon Moore, HRA senior engineering technician based in Torrance, California, and Michelle Klein, HRA crash safety test engineer based in Raymond, Ohio, who will return for her second Rebelle Rally to navigate the 2018 Ridgeline. Moore’s role at HRA is to create full-scale models of future Honda and Acura vehicles, helping designers and engineers realize their ideas in three dimensions. Past projects have included the first-generation Honda Ridgeline, first-generation Honda Element, and the Acura CLX concept car (1995), as well as contributing to the Honda GRX (2006) and Acura Bike Tour Trike (Velomobile) concepts.

Klein is the only returning Rebelle Rally competitor from 2018, and has been a mentor for her teammates. As part of the safety engineering team at Honda R&D Americas, she conducts whiplash testing to study and improve the safety of Honda and Acura products. Klein has worked on safety testing for many vehicles, including the 2016 Honda Pilot, 2016 Honda Civic, 2016 Honda Odyssey, 2016 Honda Ridgeline, and the 2019 Acura RDX.

“I want every woman to experience this type of life-changing event of facing their own inner fears of failure with bravery, endurance and determination,” said Klein. “Last year’s Rebelle Rally was a transformational experience for me and I am grateful for the opportunity to mentor and help new drivers cross the finish line.”

Team Sand Mode (#208) to Navigate the 2019 Honda Passport

Team Sand Mode #208 features Liz Casteel, HRA chassis reliability test engineer based in Raymond, Ohio, and Tasha Krug, HRA engine systems and drivability test engineer – also based in Raymond, Ohio – who will compete in the 2019 Passport. Casteel helps guarantee the reliability of Honda and Acura vehicles through subframe and suspension testing, which includes in-lab and on-car strength, durability, and marketability analyses. She has been a member of the 2017 Honda Ridgeline and 2019 Acura RDX development teams.

“I am excited for the Rebelle Rally and look forward to facing the challenges that it will throw at us,” said Casteel. “It is a unique event that will bring our Honda team even closer through the adversities we will overcome.”

In her role at Honda R&D Americas, Krug calibrates engines and automatic idle-stop systems, which can enhance fuel efficiency and reduce emissions in city driving. She has tested on-board diagnostics failsafe systems and was on the 2019 Acura RDX development team.

Design Inspiration for Honda Vehicle Wraps

The Rebelle Rally wrap for the 2018 Ridgeline was designed by Honda exterior designer Lili Melikian and celebrates Honda’s performance development heritage. The Ridgeline’s wrap is a simple expression of performance and dynamic motion, with the intent to make it look sporty, energetic, and eye-catching. The side of the Ridgeline features a “Triangulation” pattern, which was inspired by the navigation method drivers use to pinpoint their location in the wild. This involves mapping three nearby landmarks to determine where you are. Honda Rebelle Rally team members and supporters in Ohio and California also are represented in the wrap design.

The Rebelle Rally wrap for the 2019 Passport pays homage to Honda’s off-road heritage and offering accessibility to off-road adventures – much like the Rebelle Rally – by featuring an illustration of Honda’s iconic Mini Trail 70 on the 50th anniversary of its introduction.

Proving Ground for 2019 Honda Passport and 2018 Ridgeline

The Rebelle Rally provides a unique opportunity for Honda engineers to test the 2019 Passport and 2018 Ridgeline in the type of environments they’re designed to be driven in. Both vehicles are only lightly modified from stock. These modifications are mainly custom front and rear skid plates, more all-terrain off-road tires, auxiliary lights, roof rails, and an in-cabin tire rack.

The 2019 Passport is the newest addition to Honda’s award-winning SUV lineup and delivers a unique combination of on-road driving refinement and off-road capability along with best-in-class interior space. The 2018 Ridgeline pickup truck won North American Truck of the Year for this generation’s first year in 2017, and is the only unibody midsize pickup available in the U.S. Both vehicles feature Honda’s highly advanced Intelligent Variable Torque Management™ (i-VTM4™) torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system that includes Intelligent Traction Management (ITM) modes of Normal, Snow, Mud and Sand that allows the driver to select the best all-wheel drive parameters for the environment.

To follow Honda’s teams during the Rebelle Rally, visit https://www.rebellerally.com. Additional photos and video are available to media upon request.

About Honda
Honda offers a full line of reliable, fuel-efficient and fun-to-drive vehicles with advanced safety technologies sold through over 1,000 independent U.S. Honda dealers. The Honda lineup includes the Fit, Civic, Insight, Accord and Clarity series passenger cars, along with the HR-V, CR-V, Passport and Pilot sport utility vehicles, the Ridgeline pickup and the Odyssey minivan.

Honda has been producing automobiles in America for more than 35 years and currently operates 19 major manufacturing facilities in North America. In 2018, more than 90 percent of all Honda brand vehicles sold in the U.S. were made in North America, using domestic and globally sourced parts.

The post Honda’s Rebelle Rally Teams Navigate 2019 Honda Passport and 2018 Ridgeline Across Nevada and California Desert appeared first on Blog Honda.

Herta, Honda Win Monterey Season Finale, Manufacturers’ Title

  • Colton Herta proves unstoppable at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
  • Scott Dixon secures Manufacturers’ Championship for Honda with third-place result
  • Felix Rosenqvist finishes fifth to claim series Rookie of the Year honors

Rookie standout Colton Herta led 83 of 90 laps in today’s season-ending Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey to earn his second NTT IndyCar Series victory of 2019, and the eighth win of the year for Honda, which claimed its second consecutive Manufacturers’ Championship over season-long rival Chevrolet.

Starting from the pole, Herta led throughout the day, but was pursued for the duration of the 90-lap contest by a series of rivals, including fellow Honda driver Scott Dixon, championship contender Simon Pagenaud and eventual second-place finisher Will Power.  Power provided the strongest challenge to Herta following the final round of pit stops around Lap 65, but the rookie proved up to the task, and held on to take the victory by just over a half second at the checkers.

Just over six seconds behind the lead pair, five-time series champion Dixon battled with Pagenaud throughout the final 25 laps, edging his rival at the finish by 11 one-hundredths of a second to finish third and help secure the Manufacturers’ Championship for Honda by 49 points [1436-1387].  The title is the eighth for Honda in IndyCar Series racing with multi-manufacturer competition, and its second in succession.

Although Herta won twice this season – his first victory coming at Circuit of the Americas in March – Felix Rosenqvist capped his own year of consistent high finishes with a fifth-place result today to claim Rookie of the Year honors.  Rosenqvist had six top-five results this season, including second-place finishes at Mid-Ohio and Portland.

Social media content and video links from this weekend’s IndyCar Series action from Monterey are available on the HPD Facebook and Twitter channels.  Produced by the Carolinas Production Group, YouTube video packages can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV.

Next
Sunday’s race concludes the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series.  The 2020 season gets underway on March 15 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Quotes
Colton Herta (Harding Steinbrenner Racing Honda) Started first, finished first, second race win of 2019 in his rookie IndyCar Series season: “It was a tough race. I was either getting hounded by Dixon, or Pagenaud, or Power the whole time, so they definitely didn’t make it easy on me. But yeah, happy to kind of put together what we had in Portland and learn from our mistakes of the tire-wear issues and go forward with it. Whenever you win an IndyCar race, it has to be a perfect race. You can’t really make mistakes and get away with it, just because there’s always two or three other guys on that day that can win. For sure, there were a few guys that could win today, and we just outdid them. We had the pace on them, and we were definitely the best today, so we definitely deserved to win.”

Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Started second, finished third to clinch Honda’s eighth IndyCar Series Manufacturers’ Championship: “The car was by far better on the ‘Red’ [alternate, softer compound] Firestone tires than the black primaries. There was a ton of tire degradation, and it kind of threw us for a loop. It’s a great result for [primary sponsor] PNC Bank; great for Honda winning the Manufacturer title; and great for [teammate] Felix [Rosenqvist] for the Rookie title. It was a hard-fought battle with Simon [Pagenaud] at the end, and I hope it was a good show as we haven’t been back at Laguna Seca for some time.”

Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport Honda) Started third, finished sixth, third in the Drivers’ Championship: “I think the ‘blacks’ [harder compound primary tires] were much friendlier for us, which was unfortunate because we started on the used [softer compound] ‘reds’. We made the decision to go opposite of the two cars in front at the start because we knew we were ultimately racing them.  We took a gamble. We were pretty committed to trying to do something different, and if we ended up third swinging, it was better than just being complacent and coming home second.  It was a risk that didn’t pay off, unfortunately, but yeah, it was — it just wasn’t meant to be.”

Felix Rosenqvist (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Started 14th, finished fifth, won 2019 IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year honors:  “Today was exciting, with [fellow rookie] Colton [Herta] starting P1 and us in 14th for the Rookie battle. He led almost every lap. We managed to pass a ton of cars and executed perfectly. It’s well-deserved for all the NTT DATA guys on a season-long effort. I think I used a lot of anger from yesterday to move forward [in the race]. It was a great way to finish the season and I can’t wait until next year with this team.”

Ted Klaus (President, Honda Performance Development) on Honda’s championship-winning 2019 IndyCar Series season, second consecutive Manufacturers’ Championship for Honda and eighth in IndyCar Series competition: “This award is shared equally by all of our associates at Honda Performance Development. It is through their unstinting efforts that we now get to share this award with them.  I also want to thank all of our partner teams, each of which contributed to our successful title defense.  A win today from our youngest driver, and newest team, helps demonstrate the overall depth of the Honda Racing effort and bodes well for the future.  We were fortunate to have multiple promising rookies as part of our IndyCar program this year, so congratulations to Felix Rosenqvist for becoming Rookie of the Year.  Thanks to Alexander Rossi and Scott Dixon for again taking the title chase down to the final race of the season, and to all of our drivers for their commitment to excellence.”

NTT IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey
Circuit:               WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (2.238-mile road course) Monterey, Calif.
Weather:           Sunny, mild, 73 degrees F

Top-10 Race Results:

Fn. St. Driver       Team Manufacturer Laps Notes
  1.   1. Colton Herta-R Harding Steinbrenner Honda   90 106.057 mph average
  2.   7. Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet 90 +0.5878 seconds
  3.   2. Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 90
  4.   6. Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Chevrolet 90
  5. 14. Felix Rosenqvist-R Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 90
  6.   3. Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda   90
  7. 19. Sebastien Bourdais DCR with Vasser-Sullivan Honda   90
  8.   4. Josef Newgarden Team Penske Chevrolet 90
  9.   5. James Hinchcliffe Arrow Schmidt Peterson Honda 90  
10.   9. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda   90  

Other Honda Results

11. 11. Marcus Ericsson-R Arrow Schmidt Peterson Honda 90  
12.   8. Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 90  
14. 22. Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Honda   90
18. 17. Zach Veach Andretti Autosport Honda   90
19. 24. Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing Honda 90  
21. 16. Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 89 Running
22. 13. Conor Daly Andretti Autosport Honda 89 Running
24. 12. Santino Ferrucci-R Dale Coyne Racing Honda   48 Did not finish – contact 

The post Herta, Honda Win Monterey Season Finale, Manufacturers’ Title appeared first on Blog Honda.

Acura Team Penske Dominates at Laguna Seca

  • Dane Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya lead 1-2 finish for Acura
  • Acura unofficially clinches 2019 IMSA Manufacturers’ Championship
  • Katherine Legge, Christina Nielsen take their Acura NSX GT3 Evo to sixth in GTD

Acura Team Penske swept today’s IMSA Monterey Grand Prix, dominating the two-hour, 40-minute contest at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca as Dane Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya scored their third victory of the season and a 1-2 result for Acura. The result unofficially clinches the Manufacturers’ Championship for Acura, while Cameron and Montoya neared the drivers’ title.

In GTD, Katherine Legge and co-driver Christina Nielsen led the Acura NSX GT3 Evo effort, finishing sixth for Heinricher/Meyer Shank Racing; while teammates Mario Farnbacher and Trent Hindman closed on the GTD Drivers’ Championship following an eighth-place finish.

All championships will be formally decided in the season finale at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, October 10-12.

Acura Team Penske ARX-05

Starting from the pole, Ricky Taylor took the #7 Acura ARX-05 prototype to an early lead, with teammate Montoya close behind. Near the end of the first hour, the pair swapped positions in traffic, with Cameron now at the wheel of the #6 Acura Team Penske entry.

Except for pit stops, the #6 Acura led the rest of the way for the third win of the season for Cameron and Montoya, and their seventh consecutive podium finish. They now hold a 12-point lead in the DPi Drivers’ Championship, and will secure the title with a finish of eighth or better at the season-ending Petit Le Mans 10-hour race in October.

With an eight-point lead in the Manufacturers’ Championship, Acura will officially claim the title at the season finale next month.

After fending off a mid-race challenge from the Cadillac prototype of Jordan Taylor and Renger van der Zande, Ricky Taylor and co-driver Helio Castroneves came home second to complete the 1-2 finish for Acura, moving the pair to third in the drivers’ title chase with one race remaining.

Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo

In GTD, Christina Nielsen and Katherine Legge ran as high as fifth in the competitive, production- based class, but faded in the closing laps as the handling deteriorated for both Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evos at the end of the race. Legge lad the pair home with a sixth-place finish in her #57 Acura.

Teammates Mario Farnbacher and Trent Hindman fought the same issues, and finished eighth in GTD in the #86 NSX GT3. Still, the result was enough to all but clinch the GTD Drivers’ Championship for the pair, as they leave WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca with a 32-point lead, with a maximum of 35 points available in the sole remaining race.

Social media content and video links from this weekend’s Acura Motorsports IMSA sports car racing action at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca are available on HPD’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD) and on Twitter at (https://twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD). Produced by the Carolinas Production Group, YouTube video packages can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV.

Next

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship now takes three weeks off before resuming October 12 with the season-ending Petit Le Mans 10-hour endurance event at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, near Gainesville, Georgia.

Quotes

Dane Cameron (#6 Acura Team Penske ARX-05) race winner, third IMSA victory of 2019, closes on Drivers’ Championship with co-driver Juan Pablo Montoya: “It’s really, really nice to get a big win here. This is the level of performance and execution [three wins and seven consecutive podium finishes] that is expected of a Team Penske program: to be a contender for race wins week-in and week-out. It’s what makes us excited to be a part of it. It’s also what is expected of us as a group. I really feel like we’re firing on all cylinders and the team is doing an amazing job with both pit stops and race strategy. The car’s been absolutely amazing.”

Ricky Taylor (#7 Acura Team Penske ARX-05) finished second: “The primary goal today was to maximize the [championship] points for the #6 car [their teammates]. After today, they’re going to the Petit Le Mans season finale in great shape. It’s a perfect day for the team. We were there to support them the best way we could and bring Acura our second 1-2 finish of the season. I’m really happy for the #6 car guys and the team, and now we can focus on getting the win at Petit.”

Katherine Legge (#57 Heinricher/Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo) finished sixth in GTD : “It was a tough race with varying degrees of tire degradation. I think we had great pace at the beginning of each stint, but after that it became a matter of preserving tires. Basically, we finished one place ahead of where we started. I think we deserved a top five, but unfortunately that’s not the way it worked out.”

Mario Farnbacher (#86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo) finished eighth in GTD, closes on GTD Drivers’ Championship with co-driver Trent Hindman: “We struggled a little bit for speed. It seemed like the Lamborghinis were on a different planet today. We did the best we could do to hit our smaller goals; we finished the race and scored points for the championship. Unfortunately, the Sprint Cup championship is over and you aren’t always going to win everything. I feel like we made the best of what we had today, and we’re in good shape going to Road Atlanta.”

Matthew Niles (Principal Engineer, Honda Performance Development): on today’s DPi race win and unofficial Manufacturers’ Championship crown: “It was near-perfect weekend for us. It doesn’t get much better than starting and finishing 1-2. The teamwork and execution from Acura Team Penske were exemplary, and we’re very close to achieving all of our championship goals for the season. But the job’s not quite done, and we need to continue to focus all of our efforts on finishing strong next month at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.”

Monterey SportsCar Championship
Circuit: WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (2.238-mile road course) Monterey, Calif.
Weather: Sunny, mild, 68 degrees

Top Five, Acura Prototype Results:

Ps. Class Drivers Team Chassis Laps/Notes
1. Prototype Dane Cameron/Juan Pablo Montoya Acura Team Penske Acura ARX-05 88 laps/caution free
2. Prototype Helio Castroneves / Ricky Taylor Acura Team Penske Acura ARX-05 +9.784 seconds
3. Prototype Pipo Derani / Felipe Nasr Action Express Cadillac DPi VR 88 laps
4. Prototype Jordan Taylor / Renger Van Der Zande Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi VR 88 laps
5. Prototype Joao Barbosa / Felipe Albuquerque Action Express Cadillac DPi VR +1 Lap

Top Five, Acura GTD Results:

Ps. Class Drivers Team Chassis Laps/Notes
1. GTD Bryan Sellers / Corey Lewis Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracan 68 laps 
2. GTD Toni Vilander / Cooper MacNeil Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3                      +31.424 seconds
3. GTD Andy Lally / John Potter Magnus Racing Lamborghini Huracan 67 laps
4. GTD Scott Hargrove / Zach Robichon Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R 67 laps
5. GTD Jeoren Bleekemolen / Ben Keating Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 67 laps
6. GTD Katherine Legge / Christina Nielsen Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 67 laps
7. GTD Bill Auberlen / Robby Foley Turner Motorsports BMW M6
8. GTD Mario Farnbacher / Trent Hindman Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX 66 laps

The post Acura Team Penske Dominates at Laguna Seca appeared first on Blog Honda.

Blackstock, O’Gorman Run Third for Honda at Laguna Seca

  • Shelby Blackstock, Tom O’Gorman continue their TCR class championship chase with third-place finish at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
  • Brian Henderson, Todd Lamb combine to finish fifth in Atlanta Speedwerks Honda Civic Type R TCR
  • Honda, O’Gorman and Blackstock take championship battles to next month’s season finale at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta

 LA Honda World Racing drivers Tom O’Gorman and Shelby Blackstock kept their TCR class championship hopes alive today with a third-place finish in Saturday’s two-hour MICHELIN Pilot Challenge event at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

The fourth podium finish of the season for the pair moved them to second in the TCR Drivers’ Championship, 11 points behind leaders Mark Wilkins and Michael Lewis (256-245) with one race remaining.  Honda goes into next month’s season finale at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta tied for second in the TCR Manufacturers’ Championship, just four points behind Audi (293-289) and tied with Hyundai in a three-way fight for the title.

Starting fifth, Blackstock moved his Honda Civic Type R TCR up to third in the opening hour, then handed off to co-driver O’Gorman at a pit stop during a full-course caution that jumbled the running order.  O’Gorman resumed his chase of the leaders to the finish, but took the checkers just over three seconds adrift of race winners Gavin Ernstone and Jon Morley.

The Atlanta Speedworks duo of Brian Henderson and Todd Lamb brought its Honda home fifth to remain fifth in the championship; while HART racing returned to the series after missing the previous event at Virginia International Raceway to finish seventh with Ryan Eversley and Chad Gilsinger.

Also returning to TCR competition, Matt Pombo and Mike LaMarra saw their hopes of a strong finish ended by contact with a GS class competitor near the end of the race, dropping their LA Honda World entry to 11th.  Paired with a new co-driver, Harry Cheung, Colin Mullan brought their LA Honda World Civic Type R home in ninth.

Social media content and video links from this weekend’s Honda Racing IMSA sports car action at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca are available on HPD’s Facebook page  (https://www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD) and on Twitter at (https://twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD).  Produced by the Carolinas Production Group, YouTube video packages can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV.

Next

The MICHELIN Pilot Challenge now takes three weeks off before resuming October 11 for the season-ending Petit Le Mans race weekend at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta near Gainesville, Georgia.

Quote

Shelby Blackstock (#37 LA Honda World Honda Civic Type R TCR) finished third in TCR: “Overall, it was a pretty decent day.  We qualified pretty well [fifth], and brought it up to third in our stint.  The whole day was about managing tires; that was our game plan from the start.  So I ran the pace [the team] gave me, then handed it over to Tom [O’Gorman].  Thanks to the team for all their hard work this weekend, and to Honda for all their support.  It’s been an amazing year so far.”

Tom O’Gorman (#37 LA Honda World Honda Civic Type R TCR) finished third in TCR: “It was a tire race for everybody so, honestly, I think we did a really good job, managing tire wear.  We came out [after the final pit stop] just a little too far back from the leaders to challenge for the win.  But we moved up [to second] in the Drivers’ Championship, and Honda also is second in the Manufacturers’ headed to Road Atlanta, so we’ll see how things shake out there next month.”

MICHELIN Pilot Challenge WeatherTech 120

Circuit: WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca (2.238-mile road course) Monterey, Calif.

Weather: Sunny, warm, 84 degrees

Ps. Drivers Team Chassis Laps/Notes
1. Gavin Ernstone / Jon Morley Roadshagger Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 71 laps
2. Mark Wilkins / Michael Lewis Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Veloster N TCR +0.276 seconds
3. Tom O’Gorman / Shelby Blackstock LA Honda World Honda Civic Type R TCR +3.016 seconds
4. Roy Block / Tim Lewis Jr. KMW Motorsports Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR +6.669
5. Brian Henderson / Todd Lamb Atlanta Speedwerks Honda Civic Type R TCR 70 laps
7. Chad Gilsinger / Ryan Eversley HART Honda Civic Type R  70 laps
9. Colin Mullan / Harry Cheung LA Honda World Honda Civic Type R 70 laps
11. Mat Pombo / Mike LaMarra LA Honda World Honda Civic Type R 69 laps

The post Blackstock, O’Gorman Run Third for Honda at Laguna Seca appeared first on Blog Honda.

Hindman, Farnbacher Continue Acura Podium Streak at VIR

  • Trent Hindman, Mario Farnbacher extend championship lead with second-place finish
  • Fifth podium result in eight races expands Acura lead in Manufacturers’ Championship
  • Tire failure, heavy crash ends run for Katherine Legge and Alice Powell

Acura Motorsports’ run of 2019 podium finishes continued today at Virginia International Raceway, in a GT category-only run for the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Trent Hindman and Mario Farnbacher extended their GTD championship lead with a second-place result in the Michelin GT Challenge at VIR, their fifth first- or second-place finish this season, also increasing Acura’s lead in the GTD Manufacturers’ Championship after eight of 10 races.

Acura opened its GTD Manufacturers’ Championship lead from two to eight points, now with a 242- 234 margin over nearest competitor Lamborghini. In the GTD Drivers’ Championship, Farnbacher and Hindman increased their points lead from 26 to 37, with 241 points to 204 for closest rival Zach Robichon.

Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo
Starting fourth, opening driver Hindman got the jump at the green flag in his #86 Acura NSX GT3 to start the two-hour, 40-minute race, slotting into second through the first dozen laps, until the first of two full-course cautions in the event.

Pit stop rotations saw Hindman assume the lead from Lap 28 until pitting three laps later and handing the driving duties over to co-driver Mario Farnbacher, who resumed in fourth place. Quick pit work by the Meyer Shank crew at the final stop resulted in the #86 car leading once more. During the final dozen laps, a three-way contest for the GTD victory developed involving Farnbacher, the Mercedes- AMG of Jeroen Bleekemolen and Scott Hargrove’s Porsche.

Although he made a couple of feints at retaking the lead in the final laps, Farnbacher was aware of his championship position and avoided making any high-risk passing attempts. Finishing just over a half second behind GTD winner Bleekemolen, resulted in a 37-point championship lead for Farnbacher and Hindman with just two races remaining.

In the second MSR/Heinricher Racing Acura, 26-year-old Briton Alice Powell made her IMSA race debut from fifth on the starting grid, just behind teammate Hindman. However, her Acura was hit from behind on the opening lap by the BMW of Robby Foley, resulting in an unscheduled pit stop as well as damage to the back of the car that affected its handling for the remainder of the race.

Katherine Legge took over driving duties at the team’s second pit stop, just before the one-hour mark. Her #57 Acura developed a vibration following the team’s final pit stop and on Lap 75 a “sudden, complete” tire failure – according to Michelin tire engineers the result of a foreign object lodged in the suspension – resulted in a hard impact into the trackside barriers in one of the fastest parts of the VIR circuit. Legge escaped serious injury in the crash.

Acura Team Penske and Next Event
IMSA’s Prototype category was not a part of the IMSA weekend at Virginia International Raceway, which featured the GTD and GTLM classes only. The Acura Team Penske ARX-05s will return to the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for the next race on the schedule, September 15 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California.

Social media content and video links from this weekend’s Acura Motorsports action at the VIR, and Honda Racing IndyCar Series activities at World Wide Technology Raceway near St. Louis, are available on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD) channels. Produced by the Carolinas Production Group, The videos can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV.

Quotes 
Mario Farnbacher (#86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3) started fourth, finished second; on his late-race battle with Jeroen Bleekemolen for the GTD win: “I was ‘biting my fingernails’, because Jeroen was pretty quick! In the beginning [of their final run to the finish] he had to save fuel and I was able to keep up with him. But he was pretty strong the whole time. I tried to do my best to stay on him and took my chance [at the lead] at one point. But in the end, he was stronger than us. He probably knew that I didn’t want to take a lot of risks [attempting a pass] because we were working for the ‘big one’ [the championship] here and, obviously, today was a very good day for us.”

Katherine Legge (#57 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3) started fifth, did not finish following tire failure, crash on Lap 74: “That was one of the toughest races we have had. We received some damage on the opening lap that broke something in the rear of the car, so we were struggling with a ‘loose’ car the entire race. Alice [Powell] had a fantastic stint [to start the race]. On my second set of tires there was a vibration, then the tire failure, which happened instantly at the top of the ‘esses’. It is one of the places where you carry a lot of speed, so I went into the wall quite hard. That crash is a testament to the strength and safety of the Acura NSX, and VIR’s track safety structures. I have to thank the safety crew for doing a great job to get to me quickly. These things make us stronger, so we will be back ready to fight at Laguna Seca.”

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Michelin GT Challenge at VIR
Circuit:        Virginia International Raceway (3.27-mile road course) Alton, Va.
Weather:      Cloudy, mild, 78 degrees F

Top Five, Acura GTD Results:

Ps.      Class Drivers                                                        Team                                Chassis Laps/Notes
1.        GTD Jeroen Bleekemolen / Ben Keating         Riley Motorsports           Mercedes AMG 86 laps
2.        GTD Mario Farnbacher / Trent Hindman Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 +0.566 seconds
3.        GTD Toni Vilander / Cooper MacNeil              Scuderia Corsa               Ferrari 488 GT3 86 laps
4.        GTD Scott Hargrove / Zach Robichon             Praff Motorsports           Porsche 911 GT3R 86 laps
5.        GTD Pat Long / Patrick Lindsey                        Park Place Racing         Porsche 911 GT3R 86 laps
12.        GTD Katherine Legge / Alice Powell Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 74 laps – crash

The post Hindman, Farnbacher Continue Acura Podium Streak at VIR appeared first on Blog Honda.

Joel Hetrick Wins Second AMA ATV Motocross National Championship

Phoenix Racing Honda’s Joel Hetrick returned to the track that nearly derailed his title hopes earlier this season and clinched his second AMA ATV Motocross National Championship on Friday, August 23. Finishing second overall in the Pro finale at Indiana’s Ironman Raceway, Hetrick rode flawlessly all weekend to nab the number-one plate aboard his TRX450R. The Seneca, Pennsylvania, resident’s other title came in 2017.

The Pro-only season finale was held in conjunction with the final round of the AMA Pro Motocross series, but even with a huge crowd on hand, the pressure never got to Hetrick as he racked up holeshots in both of his motos. He dominated the first race and then rode at a conservative pace in moto two to finish third. Hetrick also earned the 2019 Top Qualifier and Holeshot titles, having snagged 15 holeshots over the course of the season, and qualified first eight times.

The title was particularly gratifying, as it came a year after Hetrick lost his crown at the final round, due to mechanical issues. Even this season, Hetrick was forced to make a come-from-behind charge in the points chase after encountering bad luck at earlier events. “After round six we were 29 points down, so there’s not much I could do other than try to win motos,” Hetrick said. “I decided to just go out there, race and have fun. We went to RedBud [round 8 of 10], and the tables turned. We went to Loretta’s [the penultimate round] one point down and we left with a five-point lead. I came in here with the plan to win the first moto and finish the second moto in the top four. That plan worked out, but this feels insane. I had no idea I was going to be in the position to come here and be battling for the championship. This is what we work so hard for every day. All that hard work paid off.”

This is the second title of the season for Salisbury, North Carolina-based Phoenix Racing, which also fields Honda-supported efforts in the Kicker Arenacross and GNCC series. “It’s great to have the pressure lifted after the misfortune of last year, and then to dig ourselves out of a hole like we did this year,” said team owner David Eller. “It’s great for the team, and it’s nice to show how competitive we are. I’m really proud of Phoenix; we won the Arenacross title and now we won this. If we can secure a top-10 spot in GNCC, we’ll have met or exceeded our goals for the year.”

The post Joel Hetrick Wins Second AMA ATV Motocross National Championship appeared first on Blog Honda.

Baja Ridgeline Race Truck Runs Second in Vegas to Reno

  • Baja Ridgeline Race Truck leads until delayed by fuel issue, recovers to finish second
  • Honda Off-Road Racing Team continues 2019 win-and-podium streak
  • Podium result adds to class victories in Parker 425, Mint 400 and Baja 500

The Honda Off-Road Racing Team continued its string of 2019 success this weekend, adding a second-place finish in the “7200” class for unlimited V6-powered trucks in the General Tire Casey Folks Vegas to Reno off-road race to the three victories already recorded at off-road events this year.

A part of the Best In The Desert series of off-road races, the “V2R” point-to-point race is the longest event of its type in the United States.  The 550-mile run features a unique set of challenges, including hot ambient temperatures – as high as 110 degrees F – substantial elevation changes and the constant potential of sudden, strong rain storms.  The course is also known for several high-speed sections, as well as stretches of deep silt and thick dust that can make overtaking difficult.

Starting first in the six-truck 7200 class, team owner/driver Jeff Proctor and navigator Evan Weller attempted to build an early lead as the field left Las Vegas and followed a winding course north to Reno.  Layers of thick dust hampered their initial progress, followed by a flat tire as the Ridgeline approached a service area.

Proctor and Weller eventually built up a six-minute class lead during the second hundred miles, but then the pair was forced to make an extended stop to address a fuel issue.  The repairs dropped the pair to second in class.  Patrick Dailey and Michael Loomis took over the driving and navigating duties at Mile 312, where they had an uneventful run to the finish in Reno.

Completed in the days leading up to its victorious debut in June’s Baja 500, the newest Baja Ridgeline Race Truck features revised bodywork and a lighter-weight chassis, but remains powered by the same reliable twin-turbocharged Honda V6 engine produced by Honda Performance Development.

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.

The Honda Off-Road Racing Team has three victories in four races this season, including class wins for the Baja Ridgeline Race Truck at the Parker 425, the Mint 400 and the Baja 500.  The team returns to action in November for the season-ending the Baja 1000.

Photos and information from the Ridgeline Baja Race Truck’s efforts can be viewed on Instagram at @hondaoffroadracing and @proctor_race.  Honda Racing/HPD news and reports can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD and on the Honda Racing Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD.

Quote

Jeff Proctor (team owner/driver Ridgeline Baja Race Truck) finished second in Class 7200 for unlimited V6 Trucks: “There wasn’t much wind at the start, so dust was thick and hanging over the course.  This made it really tough to pass.  We picked up a puncture, but fortunately, we were close enough to limp to the service area, where the crew changed both rear tires and added 70 gallons of fuel in an excellent 40-second stop. In the second hundred miles, we maintained a six-minute lead over second place, but then we were forced to make an extended stop due to a fuel issue.  Patrick [Dailey] and Michael [Loomis] took over at Mile 312 to finish the race second in class.  I can’t thank our entire team, Honda, HPD and all our sponsors enough for their continued support.  While it wasn’t our day, we will learn from this failure and come back faster and stronger as a team.”

The post Baja Ridgeline Race Truck Runs Second in Vegas to Reno appeared first on Blog Honda.