THR-W drivers Sage Marie and Sam Poznanovich piloted their Honda Racing/HPD B-Spec Fit to a third place finish on June 25, 2011 at the NASA Western Endurance Racing Championship (WERC) race in Buttonwillow, California.
Designed to compete in a spec series comprised of similar B-segment vehicles from various manufacturers, the Honda Racing/HPD B-spec Fit was an underdog in a field of higher performance E3 class BMWs and Miatas. However, the Fit’s fuel efficiency meant that it only had to stop once for nine gallons of fuel and a driver change. This combined with a perfectly executed pit-stop by team members Matthew Staal and Max Kiert enabled the team to gain track position. Additionally, the BFGoodrich tires remained fast and consistent throughout the entire race without the need for a tire change.
“The Honda Fit makes a fantastic entry-level racecar that rewards precision and smoothness with faster and faster lap times,” commented Marie. “It is well balanced, forgiving, and immensely fun to drive. Amazingly, all that this endurance event cost us was the entry fee, and 18 gallons of gas. I can’t think of a better way to go racing on a budget.”
Starting at 6:15 p.m. in 98 degree heat and finishing in total darkness three hours later, the event was demanding on cars and drivers alike. Poznanovich started the race near the back of the grid but quickly found his rhythm. When he pitted nearly half way through the race, the team did not know what position they were in, so the only strategy was to perform an error-free pit stop and for Marie to post lap times that were as fast and consistent as possible. Without access to timing and scoring equipment, the results of their efforts were not realized until the podium ceremony.
“Many thanks to Honda Performance Development for developing this great racing package for the Honda Fit and for allowing our team the opportunity to be here and a part of it,” said Poznanovich. “Also, many thanks to BFGoodrich for supplying us with such fast, consistent tires.”