HPD Blog

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

2017 SCCA Runoffs- Honda Performance Development

2017 SCCA Runoffs – Honda Performance Development
The 2017 SCCA Runoffs at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is on track to become the biggest Runoff’s event in SCCA history. With a record number of entries, we want to ensure that our Honda participants have the best possible experience. During the week leading up to the Championship races, HPD will provide:
  • Complimentary Parking under the Honda Tent for competitors that need space
  • Complimentary Lunches served in our Hospitality area (Thurs 9/28, Fri 9/29, and Sat 9/30)
  • Honda Participant Party- Wednesday September 27, 2017
  • Contingency Awards for qualifying participants
  • Technical Assistance from our on-site engineers
  • HPD Merchandise sales in vendor area
Complimentary Parking: If you haven’t reserved a space for your racecar during the Runoffs, we may have space for you under our tent in the Paddock area. Please reach out to us with your information and we can assign you a spot in our tent for the event. If you need additional space to park your trailer or tow vehicle, SCCA will designate a spot for you in the trailer area across from our paddock. Our tent is filling up very quickly, so reserve your spot with us as soon as possible.
Contact Information: grmsadmin@hra.com
Complimentary Lunches: Every year, Honda serves a complimentary lunch to our Honda participants at the Runoffs. This year, we will be serving lunch from our Hospitality area parked next to our tent in the Paddock. We are requiring Hospitality passes for lunch and no more than three guests accompany a Honda participant during our lunch service Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 12:00pm-1:30pm. To reserve a Hospitality pass for you and your crew, contact us with your information and we will distribute these passes prior to Thursday.
Contact Information: grmsadmin@hra.com
Honda Participant Party: This year we will have our annual participant party on Wednesday September 27, 2017 on the 8th Floor of the Panasonic Pagoda at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Our party will be from 6:00pm-10:00pm and will include appetizers, a catered buffet dinner, and a raffle. All Honda Runoff Racers are welcome to attend, and can bring up to two guests. Please R.S.V.P. by September 23, 2017 with the names of your guests.
Contact Information: grmsadmin@hra.com
Contingency Awards: Honda has always been competitive when it comes to Runoffs contingency and this year is no exception. The payouts for our winning drivers in eligible classes are as follows:
1st Place = $3,500.00
2nd Place= $2,000.00
3rd Place= $1,000.00
Additionally, any racer that starts a Championship Race will receive $300.00 and if you start a Touring Car race with a 2012-model year or newer you receive $500.00. In order to receive your prizes you must be an active and registered member of the Honda Racing Line, and have the required decals on your racecar. All contingency money will be disbursed by SCCA on behalf of HPD, please see below for all contingency requirement information.
HPD Technical Assistance: All our racers will have access to our HPD Technical Assistance, which will be on-site to troubleshoot any problems prior to qualifying and racing. Another added benefit will be on-site sales of parts. We will also have the capability to deliver select HPD racing parts to the track overnight if requested before noon PST.
HPD Merchandise Sales: This year HPD will be selling a new line of merchandise in the vendor area behind the Panasonic Pagoda. We hope that all participants and guests come by our merchandise tent to see the new and exciting items that HPD has to offer. Please check out our on-line racing store for a preview. 


Friday, August 18, 2017

Maxxis / HPD Rally Team Continues Podium Streak at Sno*Drift Summer Rally!

Atlanta, Michigan. (August 5, 2017) Maxxis renewed its partnership with Honda Performance Development to continue campaigning the 2015 B-Spec Fit and the 2017 2WD Honda Civic Sport at the third running of the Sno*Drift Summer Rally.  This one-day rally utilized many of the same roads as the first round of Rally America competition earlier in the year. While the roads were familiar, driving them without the usual covering of snow was a first for the team.   

The absence of snow and temperatures in the 70s were not the only changes.  This rally was the first of the year to not provide stage notes or to allow ‘recce.’  This forced competitors to rely heavily on how they could read the road, and much less on the co-driver’s instruction.  With the team’s streak of podiums having continued in the previous round at Rally Colorado, the pressure was on to finish well at Sno*Drift Summer.   

In preparation for the event, the HPD/Maxxis Civic underwent a transmission swap.  Out came the stock CVT and in went a six-speed manual.  “While it is not quite the Type R engine and transmission swap that we have in the work, it will be nice to be able to attack these stages with a true manual transmission,” said driver James Robinson.  

The event kicked off in Lewiston, Michigan, with 31 cars at Parc Expose.  The rally was broken into two separate legs of around 20 stage miles each, split by an unusually long but appreciated 90-minute service. 


After the first leg of competition, both the HPD/Maxxis Civic and Fit rolled into service in good shape and in good standing on the time sheets.  “The B-Spec car is having to work very hard in the soft and sandy conditions,” driver Dan McCarron noted at service.  “We’ve gotten the hang of [having] no pace notes and are ready to keep the momentum going into the second leg.”

With no major issues at service for either car, the team set about clearing the sand and rocks from the Civic’s radiator and intercooler.  “We pulled some rocks the size of baseballs out of the inside of the bumper,” detailed crew chief Steven Olona.  At the conclusion of 90-minute service, both cars fueled up and headed out for the final leg of the rally. 

Continuing to show how competitive the Civic platform is, the team of Robinson and Terry Hansen was able to finish second in 2WD, and sixth overall.  “I’m so impressed with how durable this new Civic is,” observed Robinson before the start of the final stages. “Even with the disadvantage of the stock suspension, it’s amazing that we’re able to keep up with the top teams!”

The team of McCarron and Justin Lumbard built on its first-place championship lead by winning in B-Spec, finishing fourth in 2WD, and 15th overall.  McCarron/Lumbard left Michigan with a 48-point lead in the B-Spec national championship.  “It feels great to come up to Michigan, run a strong race and leave here with points and a car in great shape,” said McCarron afterward. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Maxxis / HPD Post Strong, Three-Podium Finish at Rally Colorado!

Rangely, Colorado. (July 22-23, 2017) – Maxxis renewed its partnership with Honda Performance Development to continue campaigning the 2015 B-Spec Fit developed specifically for Rally competition at the Rally Colorado (RCO), the seventh and eighth rounds of the 2017 Rally America National Championship.  In addition, the veteran Honda rally team would finally be debuting the 2017 Honda Civic Sport hatchback in overall two-wheel drive (2WD) competition. 

This Colorado Rally would serve as the second round for display of the new Civic Sport Rally car.  With a strong finish at the Southern Ohio Forrest Rally, the Maxxis / HPD team was hopeful of maintaining the momentum at the new Colorado Rally.

“It’s awesome to get to work on the brand new Civic platform,” stated James Robinson, Honda engineer and driver for Maxxis/HPD. “Although we’ve had to postpone our plan to utilize the 300-horsepower engine from the new Civic Type R, we are still looking forward to having more horsepower than the Honda CR-Z that we ran at 100 Acre Wood event [earlier in the season].”

The team was still struggling to get an updated suspension for the Civic Rally car, which would leave it at a distinct disadvantage in the rough terrain of Rally Colorado.  “We were hopeful that the rally springs and dampers would arrive in time for the car to be shipped to Colorado,” explained James at Scrutineering.  “Running stock ride heights and soft springs will definitely add some complications to our race.”

The Rally Colorado is set in the rugged, mountainous terrain of western Colorado, making it a beautiful and challenging round in the National Championship. The rough, fast, yet technical roads for the RCO would allow drivers to test their courage while dealing with dangerous exposure and sheer drop-offs. The high altitude offered an additional challenge, sapping power and the concentration of the teams. 

“This is the first time for any of us to run these roads ever,” Robinson explained, “Considering our stock suspension and the new platform that we’ll be testing out, we are very interested in keeping our Civic in one piece, while hopefully keeping some competitiveness with our competition.”

With six stages to contest on the opening day, the new Civic and the B-Spec Fit teams set out to establish a strong pace against the competition.  “The B-Spec cars will have to work very hard to keep their pace in these conditions,” driver Dan McCarron noted at the first service of the day.  “The stages are really challenging, but we’re ready to attack!”

After Stage 3, the new HPD / Maxxis Civic rolled into the first service with no problems.  The veteran team of James Robinson and Brian Penza was playing it safe, balancing speed with care over the rough terrain.  “These stages are incredible!  The backdrop for these roads is second to none, and I’ve never before seen such a wide variety of terrain,” noted Robinson at service.  “We’re trying to push the pace on the smooth sections, and take extreme care in the rough bits to save the car.”

In addition to the B-Spec Fit and the new Civic, the Maxxis CR-Z returned in the hands of 2016 B-Spec National Champion Jordan Guitar.  This would be the second event where the Maxxis / HPD team would field three National Rally cars at the inaugural running of RCO. 

By the end of Day 1, all three cars were running well and trouble free.  “So far, we’re very excited to be here at RCO,” Jordan said during service, “The stages are fantastic, and you can’t beat the scenery!”

Moving into Day 2, the Civic team was making up time against its competitors.  “We’re working hard to get our car on the 2WD podium,” observed Robinson before the start of the final stages, “It’s definitely going to be a race to the finish.”

Unfortunately, for CR-Z team, a hard hit on the skidplate did significant damage to the engine mounts.  “We were really starting to get the hang of the stages here at RCO, but we took a big hit on a jump and it unfortunately forced us to stop so we wouldn’t do further damage to the car!” said Guitar at the second service on Day 2. 

Proving that the new Civic platform will be a contender, the team of Robinson and Penza was able to move the Civic into third place in 2WD and 10th overall.  “I’m so impressed with how durable this new Civic is,” Robinson observed. “Even with the disadvantage of the stock suspension, it’s amazing that we’re able to keep up with the top teams!”

By the end of Day 2, the Maxxis / Honda team had secured some excellent finishes, taking third in 2WD, 10th  overall for the new Civic; and first in B-Spec, 16th overall for the B-Spec Fit. In addition, the CR-Z had finished third in 2WD during the Friday regional event.

“What an amazing event for our team,” said Robinson at the event’s conclusion.  “Even with the DNF from the CR-Z on Day Two, we were able to get three podium finishes!”

Rally Colorado Rally Results:
Overall Finish Time
In Class
Honda Civic
Honda Fit
Honda CR-Z

Look for the THR B-Spec Fit, CR-Z and the new THR Rally Civic throughout the 2017 Rally America Series.

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