- 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.
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.”