HPD Blog

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

2015 Honda Rally Fit--Ojibwe Forest Rally

Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. (August 28-29 , 2015) – – Maxxis / HPD Score another B-Spec win and a 2WD Podium at the 2015 Ojibwe Forest Rally!

Detroit Lakes MI. (Aug 28-29, 2015) – Maxxis renewed its partnership with Honda Performance Development to showcase the brand new 2015 B-Spec Fit developed specifically for Rally competition at the Ojibwe Forest Rally [OFR], the seventh round of the 2015 Rally America National Championship. 

The Maxxis/HPD Rally Team had already built up an impressive five B-Spec wins as well as four overall two-wheel-drive podium finishes in the first sixth rounds of the 2015 National Championship.  Moving into the seventh round, the team’s main goal was to keep the momentum going by capturing another B-Spec win and finishing as high as possible in the 2WD field.


 (Photo Credit: Rally America)

“We couldn’t ask for a better 2015 season,” stated James Robinson, Honda engineer and driver for Maxxis/HPD. “We’ve been consistently finishing well in the 2WD National Class, as well as winning B-Spec at every event we’ve been to. I’ve been really impressed with how well this new 2015 Honda Fit has been running. If we can keep up our momentum in 2WD, we may have a shot at the 2WD National Championship Podium!” 

Ojibwe Forest Rally is a uniquely challenging Rally in the Rally America National Championship, as the roads vary from high speed open sections to tight, technical and twisty roads with little room for error. 

“In 2014, we were able to get a 1st place in B-Spec and an overall 2WD podium,” Robinson explained, “We’re hopeful that the new Fit will be up to the challenge and that we can get back on the podium!”

With six stages to contest on the opening day, the B-Spec Fit team set out to establish a strong pace against the strong 2WD class.  “We’ll need to balance running a conservative race to save the car, while trying to be competitive with the much faster cars running in 2WD,” Robinson noted at the first service of the day.  “The roads are fast, but still have a lot of places to break the car if we’re not careful!”


By the end of the first day, the HPD / Maxxis team was leading B-Spec and was provisionally sitting 2nd Place in 2WD.  “We’re working hard to keep up with the 2WD National competitors, but these stages are really well suited for higher horsepower.” stated James at the end of Day 1.  “We’re only a few seconds ahead of 3rd place right now, so we’re going to have to push very hard to keep our place on the 2WD podium.”


Moving into the second day of competition, the B-Spec Fit continued to lead B-Spec, but was struggling to keep pace with the higher power 2WD National Competitors. “We’re having a great run today, with no real issues,” Robinson stated at the end of Stage 12.  “We’re doing our best not to lose touch with the 2WD leaders, but it’s tough on these fast open stages.” 

By the final two street stages in Detroit Lakes, the B-Spec Fit team had slipped to 3rd in 2WD, but maintained first in B-Spec.  “Despite not being able to keep our position in 2WD, we couldn’t be more happy with the Fit and how it’s been handling these challenging stages,” James stated before the start of the street stages, “We are consistently showing just how reliable and competitive these little B-Spec cars can really be.”

Coming into the final time control, the Maxxis/HPD team could celebrate with a first-place finish in B-Spec and a third place 2WD finish. 


“We had an overall great event,” Robinson said at the awards ceremony. “The Fit was totally reliable; thanks to the great Maxxis R19 tire we were able to clinch another B-Spec win and also have a super strong finish in 2WD.”  

Robinson was also very happy with the strong finish and its impact on the championship.  “We’re super excited to have clinched the 2015 B-Spec National Championship with one round remaining, and even more excited to still be in the hunt for a place on the 2WD National Championship Podium!!”

Look for the THR B-Spec Fit at the final round of the Rally America National Championship Series, October 16-17th  in Houghton, Michigan.

Ojibwe Forest Rally:

The Ojibwe Forests Rally returns to the 2015 Rally America National Championship schedule as the seventh round of the eight-event Series. Drivers have often used this destination event to hone their skills due to the flowing roads that twist through the picturesque lakes that dot the landscape and the thick cedar trees. Without a doubt, the landscape will conjure images of the legend of Paul Bunyan and his blue ox as cars race on the dirt logging roads. - See more at: http://rally-america.com/events/2015/OFPR#sthash.zj9Kqf6n.dpuf

About Rally America:
Based in Williston, VT, Rally America, Inc. sanctions the Rally America National Championship, which consists of at least seven national-level events located at a variety of venues across the country, from Portland, Oregon to Newry, Maine. Top competitors in the Rally America National Championship reach speeds of well over 100 miles per hour, driving highly modified street cars such as Mitsubishi Evolutions, Subaru WRX STIs, Ford Fiestas and Scion XDs on natural-terrain courses consisting of gravel, dirt, ice or snow. For more information regarding Rally America’s National Championship or the sport of performance rally, visit www.rally-america.com

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