HPD Blog

Monday, February 9, 2015

New HPD 2015 B-Spec Honda Fit Debuts at Sno*Drift Rally


Returning for the 2015 season, the B-Spec Fit team was looking forward to starting the difficult Sno*Drift rally and defending its 2014 B-Spec Championship title. In addition, the team would campaign a brand new 2015 Honda Fit, equipped with the CVT transmission.  This would be the first time in 15 years that a Honda would compete in North American Rally with such a unique transmission. 


The 2014 sponsor Maxxis renewed its partnership with Honda Performance Development to showcase the brand new 2015 B-Spec Fit developed specifically for Rally competition at the Sno*Drift Rally, the first round of the 2015 Rally America National Championship. 

“It’s always exciting to get to develop a brand new car and test it out on such a unique event,” said Honda B-Spec Driver James Robinson, “Due to the icy, slick conditions, Sno*Drift is probably the best place for us to test out our new car and see if this new drivetrain setup will be successful in Rally.”

With eight stages to contest on Day One, the Fit set off with Josh Kramer filling the co-driver seat. “Our goal this weekend is to gather as much data as we can for the new car, and of course try and stay competitive,” said Kramer, “Although our normal B-Spec competition couldn’t make it to the event, we still have a great field of 2WD cars to compete against!”
 

By Stage 4, the Fit was had moved up 2 places to 9th overall, managing to keep pace with some of the more powerful 2WD cars. “The road conditions are pretty good, and we’re starting to get the hang of the new B-Spec Fit,” said Robinson at the first service, “The CVT transmission is actually giving us some improved acceleration on the road and its great having the ability to use the paddle-shifters to quickly change gear ratios.” 
 

As Day 1 drew to a close, the team of Robinson and Kramer had already moved into 2nd place overall in the 2WD National class, holding 9-minute lead over the R1 Ford Fiesta of Cameron Steely.   In addition, the new B-Spec Fit had completed the 8 stages without any mechanical issues. “So far the new Fit has been fantastic!” said Robinson, “We’ve had no issues and the new transmission seems to be taking the rough conditions without any concern.”
 
As Day 2 got underway, the Fit continued to hold its 2nd 2WD position and run clean.  By the first service, the Fit had added another minute to its advantage over the R1 Fiesta. “We’re having fun today,” stated Kramer at the Atlanta Service, “the car is running strong and James is driving great, so we’re going to try and maintain our momentum.”
 
Stage 16 proved to be the most challenging stage of the rally, as it was over 24 miles in length. This stage would be the true test of the new Fit as this would be almost 30 minutes of constant pushing on a variety of road surfaces. “We are a little bit anxious to start this long stage,” reported Robinson at the second service of the day. “This will be the true litmus test for this new car.  If we can make it for the full stage without any transmission overheating issues, we should have full confidence for the rest of the season!” As the team hoped, the car made it through the long punishing 16th stage and was able to still set the 4th fastest 2WD time!
 
At the end of the event, the Fit had finished first in B-Spec, second-place finish in 2WD, and an amazing 8th place overall. “We are overjoyed with our results this weekend,” said Robinson after the event. “Our expectations were to test out the new car and to make sure we finished the event.  This result completely exceeded any expectation we had!”
 
Look for the Maxxis / HPD B-Spec Fit to continue in its hunt for the championship next month at The Rally in the 100-Acre Wood in Salem, MO.

1 comment:

slowfit said...

Congratulations! looking forward for some hpd 2015 fit performance parts.

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