HPD Blog

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

HPD and Maxxis Win B-Spec and get another 2WD Podium at 2015 Susquehannock Trail Pro Rally


 

Wellsboro, PA. (June 5-6th, 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 Susquehannock Trail Pro Rally [STPR], the fifth round of the 2015 Rally America National Championship. 

 

The Maxxis/HPD Rally Team had already built up an impressive three B-Spec wins as well as three overall 2WD podiums in the first three rounds of the 2015 National Championship.  Moving into the fifth 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.

 

“We’ve had a great start to the 2015 season,” stated James Robinson, Honda engineer and driver for Maxxis/HPD. “We where we were able to finish in the top 10 overall in first three events, as well as capturing some wins in the B-Spec class. I’ve been really impressed with how well this new 2015 Honda Fit has been running. We ended up missing the fourth round in Washington State, so we’ll have our work cut out for us to get back up to speed!” 

 

The Susquehannock Trail Pro Rally would be the first time for the team to try out the Maxxis R19 soft compound gravel tire.  “We had great success with the hard compound gravel tire all last year and at Oregon Trail Rally earlier this year, so we are looking forward to trying the new tires on a dirt/gravel surface!” Robinson explained at the start of Day 1. 

 

Starting the first day of competition in the notoriously rough stages, the team’s overall strategy was to keep competitive times, but try to avoid damaging the car.  “There are two key stages today that are absolute car killers, and it’s very common for competitors to take themselves out of the race by trying to set fast times,” said Jim Guitar, Robinson’s co-driver in the Fit.  “Our goal is just to stay competitive and safe, so that we’re ready for tomorrow’s fast, smooth stages.”

 

After the evening stages were finished, the B-Spec Fit was first in class, and running third fastest in 2WD.  “We ran a conservative pace tonight, and I’m glad we did, because a lot of our competitors got damaged on the rough first and third stages,” said Robinson at the end of the opening night.  “Our goal now is to see how much we can push the pace tomorrow!”

 

Moving into the second day of competition, which included 10 new stages, the B-Spec Fit quickly started to move up the 2WD leader board.  “The roads are great, and we’re building a decent gap on our competition in B-Spec during every stage,” said Robinson at the first service of the day.  “We’re putting ahead by one to two minutes every stage, and setting the fourth-fastest time in 2WD at the same time!.”

 

By the second service on Day 2, the Fit was now eighth overall, second in 2WD, and first in B-Spec.  In addition, the smooth road surfaces were hardly putting any wear on the Maxxis R19 rally tires. 

 

“We have three long stages remaining, and we haven’t even touched the tires since the start of the race. You really can’t ask for a more reliable setup!” Guitar stated before heading back out for another round of stages.    

 

The team completed the final round and returned to the Main Time Control with another win in B-Spec, and a second-place finish among 2WD entries.  With this finish, the B-Spec Fit now has a dominant lead in the B-Spec National Championship, and moves into second place in the 2WD National Championship. 

 

“We really couldn’t have asked for a better result!” said an enthusiastic Robinson afterwards. “A huge thanks to HPD, Maxxis, and our fantastic crew for supporting us through this event.”

 

Look for the Honda Fit at the New England Forest Rally, the sixth round of the Rally America National Championship in Maine on July 17th.

 

About Susquehannock Trail Pro Rally:

The fourth race on the Rally America National Championship schedule, and one of the oldest rally races on the schedule, Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally (commonly known as STPR) began in 1977. It is not only the oldest, but it is also the fastest rally in North America. With roads consisting of clay and gravel, the course is slippery, fast and extremely dangerous. Drivers travel at speeds reaching 100 MPH through densely wooded roads. The speeds combined with the dangerous course ensure that this rally is not for the faint at heart.

.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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