Team Honda Racing Ridgeline Wins The Season Opener In Parker

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Parker, AZ

The Team Honda Racing Ridgeline put on an impressive show at the first event for cars and trucks of the 2018 Best In The Desert series, the Parker 425 off-road race in Parker, Arizona. Parker is known for spectacular scenery along the banks of the Colorado River, but for off-road racers, it’s the deep sand, and crushing rocks that leave an impression. The terrain is punishing, and the lack of precipitation created severely dusty conditions on race day. Racing in such extreme conditions takes skill, patience, and a well-executed performance by the entire team.

 

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Starting in the 4th position out of 11 trucks, it was crucial that the crew members in the pits keep the driver and co-driver informed of their track position at all times. An important key to success in off-road racing, is determining how hard to push. Go too hard, and you risk flat tires, breaking parts, or crashing. If you go too slowly, you get left behind. Every competitor was out to start the season off with a win.

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The pace was fast, right off the start. The team’s game plan was to be smart and settle into a comfortable pace off the start, but the competition was going hard out front. With Jeff Proctor driving, and Evan Weller calling out the navigation, they were able to pick up the pace and soon moved up to 2nd place. The truck was performing flawlessly, and they were running strong with no issues. They got within striking distance of the leader by mile 80, and took the lead on corrected time. In order to build up a cushion, they passed the lead truck in a high speed section of the course, putting them physically first on the road. With a time advantage, they were able to make a pit stop without losing their position. After a quick stop for fresh tires on the rear, and some fuel, they still had a 4.5 minute lead on second place.

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On lap 2, the sun started to set and the conditions on the course grew worse. The holes got deeper and the sand was looser. The rocks get pulled up to the surface or knocked into the middle of the track by competitors feeling their way along through the dust. Any time you get off course, you are greeted by the piles of rocks and boulders that make up the berm. Despite the conditions, Proctor and Weller avoided the many pitfalls and the Team Honda Racing Ridgeline performed flawlessly. They not only ran out front, they increased their lead.

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On lap 3, the course was in terrible shape and the darkness had completely engulfed the course. With a comfortable lead, Jeff Proctor turned the driver’s seat over to Pat Dailey to bring the truck home safely. Pat put in another solid lap for the team and they crossed the finish line an hour ahead of the second place truck.

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“It feels so good to get a win for this Honda Ridgeline team at the season opener.” said Team Principal and driver Jeff Proctor. It was an impressive victory that Pat Dailey summed up well. “I couldn’t be more proud of this entire team, their effort, and commitment to earn a win was unbeatable we would also like to thank our sponsors, Honda Racing / HPD, General Tire, FOX, KC Hilites, KMC Wheels, Sparco, Eibach Springs, NEO Synthetic Oil, RPI Racing, PCI Race Radios, AEM Air Filters, Pro Eagle, MAC Tie Downs, REEL Driveline and STEEL-IT Coatings,” said Team Manager/ Driver Pat Dailey. “The team is now focused on the 50th anniversary of the Mint 400 on March 10th in Las Vegas.”

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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.

Honda Racing Ridgeline Team Earns Another Baja 1000 Podium At 50th Anniversary

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November 22nd, 2017
La Paz, Baja California Sur

The 50th anniversary of the Baja 1000 had a course layout that was commensurate with the historic nature of the event. A staggering 1134 miles in length, every bit of it was filled with challenging terrain. There was plenty of silt, rocks, sandy whoops, and deep water crossings as it snaked its way from the start in Ensenada, all the way south to La Paz. The first to start the race are the unlimited Trophy Trucks. Their 39 inch tall tires and 900 horsepower engines punish the course. They pull rocks out of the dirt, break up the silt into loose piles, and cut deep ruts wherever the ground is soft. By the time class 7 and the Honda Ridgeline takes to the course, the conditions are as tough as they will be.

Honda Ridgeline, Baja 1000, General Tire, Rigid Industries, KMC Wheels, Bink Designs

Because of the staggering distance involved, and the number of hours needed to complete the race, team owner Jeff Proctor assembled three pairs that would share the driving and navigating duties. First to take the wheel would be Jeff Proctor with Evan Weller navigating. The second pair would be Eric and Jared Hardin with Eric driving. The critical final leg would be handled by 11 time Baja 1000 winner Johnny Campbell with Jamie Campbell navigating. It was a stellar line-up of talent with tons of Baja experience.

Honda Off Road, Jeff Proctor, Honda Racing, General Tire, Rigid Industries, STEEL-IT, KMC Wheels, Bink Designs

Right from the drop of the green flag, the Honda Performance Development twin turbo HR35TT 3.5L V6 engine was belting out horsepower. They took the lead, and started making their way through some of the classes that started ahead of them. By the time they had made it through Valle De Trinidad and where heading towards San Felipe, they hit a section of heavy sand.

Honda Ridgeline, Off Road Racing, Class 7, Jeff Proctor, Rigid Industries, KMC Wheels, STEEL-IT, FOX, FiberwerX

Their General Tires hooked up so well in the tacky sand that they spit out the driveshaft. The terrain made it difficult to get the shaft swapped out quickly. The repair caused them to lose the lead. Once back underway, they made a stop for fuel and fresh tires. Once they were back at full strength, they caught and passed the leader to be out in front again. With some clean air ahead, they checked out; building a big lead.

Honda Ridgeline, SCORE Baja 1000, General Tire, KMC Wheels, XD Series, Rigid Industries, STEEL-IT, AEM Intakes, Off Road, Bink Designs

At the next pit, the Hardin brothers got in the truck. They had a very tough section to run. Covered in deep silt and whoops, low laying fog contributed to the challenging conditions. They got stuck briefly in a silt bed but got out while still holding the lead. With only three miles to go to the next driver’s change, they got stuck again. This time, it would not be so easy to get out. While trying to get out of the deep silt, they were turning the front wheels back and forth in some deep ruts. The extreme load on the power steering pump caused it to overheat and fail. There was no way to get to them with the chase truck, so they were left to their own resources. This time, it took them 3 hours to get free. Once they made it to the pit, it was another hour to make repairs, and get back going.

Honda Off Road, Jeff Proctor, Honda Ridgeline, KMC Wheels, Bink Designs, Baja 1000

Now sitting in third place, Johnnie and Jamie Campbell got in the truck. They clicked off some fast miles, overtaking the truck ahead to climb into second. They were on a blistering pace, but ran out of time to catch the leader.

Honda Racing, General Tire, KMC Wheels, SCORE Baja 1000, STEEL-IT, FOX, Rigid Industries, MAC Tie Downs, Pro Eagle, AEM, Johnny Campbell

“We ran into a little bad luck but clearly had a truck that was fast enough to win,” said Jeff Proctor, “With the help we receive from Honda Racing / HPD, General Tire, FOX, Rigid Industries, KMC Wheels, Sparco, Eibach Springs, NEO Synthetic Oil, RPI Racing, PCI Race Radios, AEM Air Filters, Pro Eagle, MAC Tie Downs, RaceCarCoatings.comREEL Driveline and STEEL-IT Coatings, we have refined the Honda into a potent machine. I can’t say enough about our crew and the excellent work they’ve done all season. We are very excited about 2018. Normally we would already have the truck torn down for preparation but we are scheduled to go back on The Rich Eisen Show for a follow up on our race. They wanted us to leave it dirty.”

The Honda might be a little dirty, but the special metallic red paint they applied for the 50th Baja 1000 still shines through the dust. The team is also looking forward to shining through the dust next season when they take on the biggest offroad races in the US and Mexico.

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 Team Races Towards Milestone Baja 1000

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October 31st, 2017
Las Vegas, NV

Off-road enthusiasts at the Off-Road Expo in Pomona, Ca. got a sneak peek at some of the incredibly exciting plans that Team Honda Ridgeline has in store for the 50th Anniversary running of the SCORE Baja 1000 on November 14-18. What immediately jumped out was the riveting, red metal flake paint job that was applied especially for the 50th Anniversary. Astute viewers also picked up on the driver’s names on the Honda Ridgeline’s door. Jeff Proctor will be joined by a pair of distinguished drivers, Eric Hardin, and 11 time Baja 1000 winner Johnny Campbell. The three drivers make a potent combination, and the entire racing community is thrilled to have Campbell flying down the Baja Peninsula in Honda Red once more; this time on 4 wheels instead of 2.

Honda Off-Road, Eric Hardin, Johnny Campbell, Jeff Proctor, Honda Ridgeline, Baja 1000

The Honda Ridgeline Team will be working to get Campbell his 12th Baja 1000 win while going for their third straight Baja 1000 victory. Campbell’s experience winning an incredible 9 times in a row will be a huge asset towards their efforts. Campbell will have the task of driving the final leg of the 1200 mile race that travels the length of the Baja Peninsula, and taking the checkered flag. After the Ridgeline was awarded North American Truck Of The Year at the Detroit Auto Show, the team has been planning to match those accolades with a victory at the race that everyone wants to win; the 50th anniversary Baja 1000. If they achieve their goal, it will be historic on many levels.

Honda Ridgeline, Honda Off Road, Jeff Proctor, Johnny Campbell, Baja 1000

With the race only weeks away, the work continues at a steady pace. The Ridgeline has done some final testing in the desert before getting here to the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. The truck is on display in Honda’s booth because not only is it an amazing display of Honda technology and engineering, but its drop dead gorgeous looks are stunning in the new color. “The SEMA Show is the premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world. It draws the industry’s brightest minds and hottest products to one place,”

Honda Ridgeline, Baja 1000, SEMA Show, General Tire, Rigid Industries, KMC Wheels, STEEL-IT, Jeff Proctor, 50th Baja 1000, FOX

Honda Ridgeline, Jeff Proctor, Johnny Campbell, 2017 Baja 1000, Honda Ridgeline Race Truck, STEEL-IT, Off Road Racing, Baja 1000, FiberwerX

Honda Ridgeline, Jeff Proctor, Johnny Campbell, 2017 Baja 1000, Honda Ridgeline Race Truck, STEEL-IT, Off Road Racing, Baja 1000, FiberwerX

In addition to the truck being on display, several media events will take place including an appearance on the popular Rich Eisen show. “One of television’s most visible anchors and personalities from the past decade,” Eisen hosts The Rich Eisen Show on DIRECTV’s Audience Network. Then final preparations will commence. Prerunning sections of the race course to find the fastest lines through the desert will take place starting November 8th. Each driver will run his section several times to learn the course. The course always changes in the days leading up to the race, but a familiarity with your surroundings is always a benefit when you are making split second decisions at race speeds. If you are at the SEMA Show or plan to attend the SCORE Baja 1000, make sure you grab a poster, check out the beautiful custom paint job and the incredible engineering showcased on the Honda Racing Ridgeline.

Honda Off-Road, SEMA Show, Baja 1000, Honda Ridgeline, Off Road Racing

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.

Honda Racing Ridgeline Back On The Podium At Longest Offroad Race In US

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August 24th, 2017
Reno, NV

The Honda Racing Ridgeline team took their second straight podium finish at the Best In The Desert series, Vegas to Reno race, (V2R). V2R is the longest offroad race in the United States at nearly 550 miles in length. With back to back podium finishes in 500 mile races, the team is firing on all cylinders heading into the 50thanniversary running of the SCORE Baja 1000 on November 14-18 in Baja, Mexico.

Jeff Proctor, Honda Ridgeline, KMC Wheels, General Tire, STEEL-IT, FiberwerX, Bink Designs

The V2R course runs through incredibly tough terrain in remote Northern Nevada. Most of the course is littered with loose rocks and covered in silt, the fine dust particles deposited in deep pockets by the wind. The silt has the same consistency as baby powder and the potential to grind any moving parts into submission. If you make it through the silt, the final 30 miles of the course consists of exposed shards of solid rock with loose boulders thrown in for good measure. The lack of any substantial wind left the silt to hang in the air; leaving drivers blinded for a majority of the race. The Honda team was walking a tightrope, the narrow course, for over 500 miles while blindfolded.

Honda Off Road, Honda, Eibach, RIGID, FOX, Neo Synthetic Oils, Race Car Coatings, Bink Designs

After constructing their technically advanced Honda Ridgeline race truck, and refining it for top performance, they are now focusing on the fine details of the team’s operation. “We practice our pit stops to shave precious seconds in the pits,” says Jeff Proctor, “We have the truck dialed in; it’s fast and reliable. Hitting the throttle on the Honda Performance Development twin turbo HR35TT 3.5L V6 engine is a guilty pleasure. We started third at V2R and were leading at pit one. Soon we were moving up through the V8 powered 6100 trucks that started ahead of us. Our pit stops were flawless all day. When we stop, we dump 55 gallons of race fuel, and swap tires before heading back out. At pit 10, Honda Senior Manager of Public Relations, Sage Marie took over driving. Sage has an extensive racing resume. That’s one of the best things about working with Honda; everyone has such a deep passion for motorsports and performance.”

Honda Ridgeline, Jeff Proctor, Honda Truck, General Tire, KMC Wheels, Rigid Industries, FOX, Bink Designs, Vegas To Reno

After pit 14, Marie had a 2 minute lead over second place but needed 3.5 minutes to take the win. They told them to turn it up. The miles of blinding dust took its toll when they missed a dog leg turn by inches and slide off the course. They came to a rest on their side in a group of trees. It seemed like a disaster but you learn in offroad racing to never give up. Best In The Desert officials were nearby and offered assistance to get them back on their wheels. Without skipping a beat, they returned to the fray, and still finished in third place on the podium. The entire team showed poise and determination throughout the race. The Baja 1000 will travel around 1150 miles. They will need every bit of ingenuity and resolve when the head south. “The team is working so well together, we are really excited about the Baja 1000.” Jeff Proctor.

Honda Ridgeline, General Tire, KMC Wheels, STEEL-IT, Vegas To Reno, Class 7200, Bink Designs

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