Honda Ridgeline completes Baja 1000
Crushing its debut!
The news is exciting when it comes to the Honda Off-Road racing Team and the Honda Ridgeline, with this second-generation pickup a dominating force, finishing 11th overall in its first Trophy Truck Baja 1000 Run. The team, which returned to Baja, California, recently, is now competing for the overall race win in the premier Trophy Truck category in last weekend’s 56th running of the BF Goodrich SCORE Baja 1000.
This class 2 victory involved a desert endurance event that was not only grueling but the Ridgeline’s first attempt.
After a tough 821-mile loop, which took drivers the length of the Baja peninsula, driver Ethan Ebert brought the new Honda Baja Ridgeline to 11th place in a field of 22 Trophy Trucks and more than 320 entries.
Unique in the category as the only turbocharged V6 entry in Trophy Truck and unique in that its driver was just 17, therefore the youngest in the Trophy Truck field, the Ridgeline was truly a dominating force. Its driver was equally impressive, heading a four-driver Baja Ridgeline lineup that included Richard Glasczak, Chip Prescott and Bobby Smith.
“Things went well for us,” Ethan said, “but Baja obviously has its ups and downs and this SCORE Baja was 1,300 miles, so there was a lot to go.”
“This Honda Ridgeline proved its worth,” he continued. “We couldn’t have asked for a better truck, especially in the San Felipe section, which is all whoops.”
The Ridgeline Baja Race Truck, unveiled at SEMA earlier this month, serves not only as Honda’s new off-road racing platform, but also as a preview for the upcoming second-generation pickup.
This isn’t the first brush with victory for the Ridgeline. Prior to running for the overall victory this year in the premier Trophy Truck category, the Honda Ridgeline Baja Race Truck had four previous Class 7 wins (for V6-powered trucks) in the Baja 1000 and five class wins in the Baja 500. And there’s more! In addition the nine class victories, the Ridgeline also finished second in the Baja 1000, and third once in the ‘500.’ In all, the Honda Baja Ridgeline has gone on to record 17 class victories in 38 races.
More about the vehicle!
Built jointly by Honda Performance Development, the North American motorsports arm of American Honda, and the Proctor Racing Group, the tube-frame Unlimited Class 2 off-road Ridgeline Baja Race Truck made its completion debut at the tough Baja event. Despite the challenging track and various obstacles, the truck completed the event in 25 hours, nine minutes and 47seconds. That is about 10 hours behind the Ford F-150 trophy truck and the Honda CRF450X that won outright. Impressive in its own right is the fact that this truck finished on its debut in what is considered an extremely tough race and under even tougher conditions.
Assisting in achieving this milestone was the twin-turbocharged V6 under hood and produced by HPD. It makes 550 hp with the truck also boating custom elements of the powertrain that includes an HPD-designed intake plenum and custom Engine Control Unit programming.
The truck features a body designed by Honda R & D Americas’ Los Angeles Design Studio, with inspiration taken from the next-generation Honda Ridgeline, also designed and developed by Honda R&D North America.
Design of this Ridgeline takes hints from the 2017 model, with similar features on the truck’s front fascia, hood, roof, bed and side profile. It also uses the same block, cylinder heads and crankshaft as the 3.5-liter V6 that powers the current Ridgeline and will power the upcoming one.
Running trouble-free, the Ridgeline takes class victory on the Baja in its maiden voyage and that in itself is cause for celebration! Powerful, tough enough and a leader in its class, the Ridgeline surely crushed its debut!