HPD Blog

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Maxxis / HPD Score another B-Spec win and a 2WD Podium at the 2015 Lake Superior Pro Rally

Houghton, Michigan. (October 16-17, 2015) – – Maxxis / HPD Score another B-Spec win and a 2WD Podium at the 2015 Lake Superior Pro Rally!

Houghton, MI. (Oct. 16-17, 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 Lake Superior Pro Rally [LSPR], the eighth round of the 2015 Rally America National Championship. 


The Maxxis/HPD Rally Team had already built up an impressive six B-Spec wins, as well as five overall two-wheel-drive podium finishes, in the first seven rounds of the 2015 National Championship.  Moving into the eighth and final 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 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 entered. I’ve been really impressed with how well this new 2015 Honda Fit has been running. If we can get a strong finish here at LSPR, we could finish 2nd in the  2WD National Championship!”


The Lake Superior Performance Rally takes place during peak foliage season in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, meaning that this rally is always one of the most unforgettable and picturesque. Headquartered in Houghton, the unpredictable fall weather could mean conditions anywhere from dry and sunny to accumulating heavy snows.  LSPR takes advantage of the rugged terrain of the Keweenaw and Lake Superior shoreline to live up to its reputation as the oldest, meanest, toughest rally on the circuit.


“In 2013, we were able to get a first place in B-Spec at LSPR,” Robinson explained, “We won this event last year, so we’re hopeful that we can get back on the pace here and get another win!”


With eight 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’ve got a super tough field here in 2WD, so we’ll have a tough job ahead of us to get on the 2WD podium,” Robinson noted at the first service of the day.  “The conditions are fantastic, though, so we’re going to go as fast as we can!”




By the end of the first day, the HPD / Maxxis team was leading B-Spec and was provisionally sitting third 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 Robinson at the end of Day 1.  “We’re only a few seconds ahead of fourth 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 in class, 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 11.  “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 fourth 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,” observed Robinson before the start of the street stages, “We are consistently showing just how reliable and competitive these little B-Spec cars can really be.”


Unfortunately for 2WD Class leader Cameron Steely, Stage 14 would end with a minor ‘off’ that would cost him his top finish.  “Cameron was having a fantastic run here at LSPR and was basically untouchable with his stage times.  I was gutted to see his car off on Stage 14, because it was really the last competitive stage of the Rally.” said Robinson at the event’s conclusion.  “Due to his DNF, however, we were able to get back on the 2WD Podium!”


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 ecstatic with the impact the strong finish had on the championship.  “With this finish, we were able to exceed our expectations for B-Spec by finishing second in the 2WD National Championship.  This is a huge achievement for Maxxis, HPD and for the B-Spec!”


Look for the THR B-Spec Fit in the 2016 Rally America Series.


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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