Honda Racing Ridgeline Earns Well Deserved Podium At SCORE Baja 500

Honda Racing Ridgeline Earns Well Deserved Podium At SCORE Baja 500

June 7th, 2017
Ensenada, Baja California Mexico

The Honda Racing Ridgeline team overcame several challenges during the 49th SCORE Baja 500 to finish on the podium in third place. Having held the lead on numerous occasions during the race, Baja threw them a few curves during their 18 hour long ordeal that covered over 513 miles. Starting in Ensenada, the course went south along the Pacific Ocean, crossed over the inland mountains, ran through miles of punishing whoops in San Felipe, and returned to Ensenada for the finish. The Baja terrain took a huge toll on the field; 8 trucks started in class 7, only three completed the course. Just getting to the finish is a huge accomplishment, getting another Baja 500 podium made the hard work and sacrifice well worth it.

SCORE Baja 500, Jeff Proctor, HPD, Honda Ridgeline, Baja, Rigid Industries, General Tire, Bink Designs

Starting back in the pack, the Honda Racing Ridgeline team knew they would have their work cut out for them on race day. After taking the green flag, they settled into a rhythm and maintained a pace that kept the leader in their sites. They took the lead at race mile 145, and after a quick splash of fuel in Colonet, increased their advantage over 2nd place. In Baja, you never know what lies around the next corner. Despite spending days prerunning the course, it’s never the same on race day.

Honda Off Road, Honda Racing, Ridgeline, STEEL-IT, FOX, AEM, Sparco, Jeff Proctor, Bink Designs

“We came to a section of the course that was a blind right hand drop into a gully and a steep climb out,” said Jeff Proctor, “By the time we realized that the locals had flooded the course, turning it into a mud pit, it was too late. We were buried up to the chassis in the nastiest Baja soup you could imagine. We flagged down a farmer with a tractor and he pulled us out of the deep mud. Out of the goop, we still had to get through the remaining swamp. Co-driver Evan Weller got out to scout our line but our only chance was to cross a deep rut and bushwhack through some brush to get out. I committed, but slid in the mud, caught the rut, and rolled over and back into the swamp. Thankfully our new tractor friend was still there to roll us back over. After some quick repairs, we got back in the race.”

Honda Off Road, Jeff Proctor, General Tire, KMC Wheels, Honda HPD, Water Crossing, Baja 500

Despite having troubles in the mud, they fought their way back to the front going through the rough section of course heading up to Mike’s Sky Ranch. At the planned driver’s change at race mile 250 where Eric and Ross got in, they were back out front with a 20 minute lead!

Honda Off Road, Jeff Proctor, Honda Ridgeline, General Tire, KMC Wheels, STEEL-IT, FOX

The hard work and hours of preparation were really paying off. Their Honda Performance Development twin turbo HR35TT 3.5L V6 engine was propelling them to an impressive victory when fate took a turn for the worse. Just 50 miles from the finish, the alternator failed leaving them in the dark with no power. As soon as the chase crew located them, they made quick repairs and were able to achieve a hard earned 3rd place podium finish.

Honda Ridgeline, Jeff Proctor, Rigid Industries, FOX, General Tire, Baja 500, Class 7, Bink Designs

“It was heartbreaking, but I am so proud of our team,” Proctor continued, “We made quick repairs and still finished on the podium in 3rd place. Our Honda Racing Ridgeline team battled all day to overcome some of the worst Baja could throw at us. Thanks go out to the entire team for the hard work and quick pit stops that kept us in contention for the win.” The Honda Racing Ridgeline team‘s strong performance at the Baja 500 provides a glimpse of the performance they have on tap. Their next race, Best In The Desert’s General Tire Vegas To Reno presented by FOX, can’t come soon enough. Vegas to Reno is the longest offroad race in the United States. It will give them the opportunity to run wide open on the fast roads found in remote Northern Nevada.

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.

Photography By: Bink Designs

Honda Racing Ridgeline Found The Limits At The Mint 400

Honda Racing Ridgeline Found The Limits At The Mint 400

March 8th, 2017
Las Vegas, NV

The lure of speed draws many to racing. The guilty pleasures found while clipping along at triple digits are worth the long hours, expense, and hard work required for many but offroad racing draws an especially dedicated group. Taking place in some of the most inhospitable terrain on the planet, no other form of racing puts as much strain on the driver, the crew and especially the vehicle. Pavement racing allows driving at speeds far in excess of that allowed on the streets. Offroad racing allows you to drive at speeds that break the laws of physics.

Honda Off Road, Honda, The Mint 400, General Tire

Despite the best materials, careful preparation, and detailed planning, sometimes the desert prevails. At The Mint 400 race outside Las Vegas, Nevada, Team Honda Ridgeline Racing found the absolute limit of an exhaust component on their Honda Performance Development twin turbo 3.5L V6 engine (HR35TT). What started as a tiny, hairline fracture became a race ending malfunction. Temperatures at that location of the exhaust system range from 700-1200 degrees Fahrenheit. As the exhaust heat was exposed to outside oxygen, it burned even hotter. Despite the high tech thermal shielding around the exhaust, escaping heat burned critical wiring that brought the truck to a stop. Due to the remoteness of the venue, repairs could not have been done in time to finish the race.

Honda Off-Road, Jeff Proctor, The Mint 400, General Tire, KMC Wheels, STEEL-IT, Bink Designs

Despite the temporary setback, the Mint 400 was very rewarding. With every race, the team dynamics continue to strengthen. Driver Jeff Proctor was very impressed with new co-driver Billy Baroody’s skills in the right seat and team Manager Pat Dailey had a great plan of attack and race strategy. After taking the start, the truck was running very strong; allowing Proctor to pass two other trucks in the opening miles. While it’s impossible to speculate on what might have transpired, their performance gains were clearly evident and the pace they were running was imposing. It hurts when you are forced to the sidelines but when the failure point of a part is discovered, it makes the team even stronger going forward; strengths that they will need when they take on the Baja 500 in June. They are looking for a repeat of their win at the 500 last season. Look for the team to be streaking across your TV screen or down the Baja Peninsula during the Baja 500 June 1-4.

Jeff Proctor, Honda Ridgeline, General Tire, The Mint 400, Bink Designs, AEM

All made possible by support from Honda Racing / HPD, General Tire, KMC Wheels, STEEL-IT Coatings, FOX, Rigid Industries, Sparco, Eibach Springs, NEO Synthetic Oil, RPI Racing, PCI Race Radios, Reel Driveline, Race Car Coatings and AEM Air Filters.

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.

Photography By: Bink Designs

Ridgeline Rallies To Podium Finish At Ruthless Parker 425

Ridgeline Rallies To Podium Finish At Ruthless Parker 425

February 7th, 2017
Parker, AZ

Despite the challenging conditions they knew existed in Parker, Arizona for the Best In The Desert Parker 425 race, Jeff Proctor and his crew were anxious to kick off the 2017 racing season in their Team Honda Racing Ridgeline. The competition was sure to be adept, but any team’s greatest challenge in offroad racing will always be Mother Nature. The desert is well known for inhospitable terrain, but the Parker 425 course is as ruthless as it gets. With the exception of deep silt, it contains every truck breaker known including huge holes, big rocks, whoops, sand, and deep ruts. A substantial 425 miles in length, the race was run at an aggressive pace. Being the first race of the season, every team wanted to show the field they are the ones to beat this season. After overcoming the worst Parker had to offer, the Team Honda Racing Ridgeline finished on the podium in 3rd place.

Honda Ridgeline Off Road Team, Honda Racing, Jeff Proctor, General Tire, KMC Wheels, Bink Designs

After starting 4th, the Honda Ridgeline was in the lead after only 20 miles. They were running a fast but measured pace through some rolling dunes when they suffered a driveline failure. The power from their Honda twin turbo powerplant and the incredible traction they were getting from the team’s General Tire X3 Grabbers actually caused the splines in the driveshaft to yield.

General Tire Grabber X3, Honda Racing, Jeff Proctor, KMC Wheels

There are different types of sand; light powdery blow sand, and the heavy, dense sand that’s found in Parker. The deep heavy sand does not move easily. In fact, Parker is known for drivetrain failures because of it. They were able to make repairs but lost the time they had made on the field.

Once they made it to the pits for fuel, they lost precious time when they had a pressure build up in the fuel cell. The fuel going in had to push that pressurized air out, causing the stop to take longer than usual. It wasn’t a long delay, but every second counts when you are racing. Once back underway, the truck was performing incredibly strong. All the hard work testing, tuning, and refining the truck have paid off nicely. As it happens so often in offroad racing, there was another test of their resolve just around the corner. As they came around a deeply rutted, blind corner, two huge boulders were wedged into the bottom of the rut. With no place to go, the rocks tore into the sidewalls of both right side tires. Once again they hopped out and got busy.

Honda Off-Road, Honda Racing, Parker 425, General Tire, KMC Wheels, Honda Ridgeline, Bink Designs, STEEL-IT Coatings, KMC Wheels

As they were changing the tires, the Trick Truck of Rob MacCachren came around the corner and suffered the same fate. Jeff Proctor and co-driver Robert Zeman sprung into action on MacCachren’s truck, changing the spare tire so they could remain strapped in. Putting Karma points in the bank is always a good idea. After MacCachren took off, eventual overall race winner Andy McMillin hit the same rocks and killed his tire as well. Again Jeff and Robert helped to change their tire. From there to the finish, the Ridgeline was running at full song, tearing through the desert. Dirty and covered in mud, they both had huge smiles on their faces as they drove across the line for their first podium finish of the year.

Honda Ridgeline, BITD Parker 425, STEEL-IT, KMC Wheels, Race Car Coatings, General Tire, FOX, Rigid Industries, Bink Designs

“Overall it was a great race for us,” said Jeff Proctor, “We had some issues, but our Honda Ridgeline was running as strong as ever. I could really open the truck up and use all the power. Every system on the truck performed flawlessly, the cooling system, the suspension, the engine. We are always looking to win, but we are proud to get a podium finish after the setbacks we had. It was a battle all day and the course was very rough, but that’s why we love Parker so much. We can’t wait to take on The Mint 400 in March.”

The team’s strong performance is made possible by support from Honda Racing / HPD, General Tire, KMC Wheels, STEEL-IT Coatings, FOX, Rigid Industries, Sparco, Eibach Springs, NEO Synthetic Oil, RPI Racing, PCI Race Radios, Reel Driveline, Race Car Coatings and AEM Air Filters. Their next race, the Mint 400, will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 2nd through the 5th. It will also be a tough challenge, but the entire week is filled with special events that make it a one of a kind race that everyone should attend.

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.

Photography By: Bink Designs

Team Honda Racing Ridgeline Ready to Take on Parker 425

Honda Racing, Jeff Proctor, General Tire, KMC Wheels, Bink Designs

February 1st, 2017

2016 was a development year for Jeff Proctor’s Team Honda Racing Ridgeline team. They had great success in unusually demanding conditions during the SCORE International series Baja 500 and iconic Baja 1000 race in Mexico, but were hit with minor issues at the Mint 400 race in Nevada. With thousands of race miles under their belts, and a dialed in race truck, the team is anxious to hit the 7200 class at the Best In The Desert series Parker 425 race in Parker, Arizona.

The Parker 425 is the first race of the year, and the team is looking forward to a great race. The course is a tough one which is exactly what the Ridgeline was designed to endure. “I have always liked the Parker course,” says Jeff Proctor, “It has such a diverse mix of terrain from sand washes and super rough rock sections to wide open rally roads. Our program continues to get stronger and we are looking forward to enhancing our results from last season. Our goal is to add to our SCORE series wins with a victory in the Best In The Desert series.”

The Honda Ridgeline team has made some important changes for 2017. Aaron Laeng has joined as the Team Manager. Laeng will focus on race preparations, planning, and logistics. He will also spend time navigating from the right hand seat. David Cowan is now the crew chief and will use his extensive experience and keen eye for attention to detail to benefit the team.

“On the heels of the Ridgeline having been selected last week as North American Truck of the Year, we are pleased to announce the extension of this agreement to continue racing the Ridgeline with Proctor Racing,” said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of the Honda Division, “In just its first full season, the Baja Ridgeline has already claimed several class victories in desert truck racing, and we look forward to adding to those successes with the continuation of this strong partnership.”

With a clean slate, and stronger than ever, the Team Honda Racing Ridgeline team is looking forward to getting back in the dirt in 2017. The Parker 425 will be their first chance to open up the high tech, twin turbo Honda in the extraordinarily demanding conditions that offroad racing provides.

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.
Photography By: Bink Designs