HPD Blog

Friday, July 8, 2016

HPD and Maxxis Head to 2016 Susquehannock Trail Pro Rally

Continuing the pursuit of the B-Spec National Championship, Maxxis and Honda Performance Development sent their 2015 B-Spec Fit to the Susquehannock Trail Pro Rally [STPR], the fifth round of the 2016 Rally America National Championship.

The Maxxis/HPD Rally Team had built up an impressive four B-Spec wins, as well as three overall 2WD podiums during the first four rounds of the 2016 National Championship. Coming into the fifth round, the team wanted to keep up the momentum in the B-Spec class, with an eye toward also finishing as high as possible in the 2WD field.

“We’ve had a really good start to the 2016 season,” stated Jordan Guitar, Honda engineer and driver for Maxxis/HPD. “We were able to finish very strongly at the first four events. The car’s reliability has been really impressive. I am looking forward to competing against a bigger field in the B-Spec class at STPR. It should prove to be very competitive!” In total, four cars would comprise the B-Spec class at this event. A Chevy Sonic, the returning team of Erickson-Chang and Holter in their Fiesta, and a 2009 Fit driven by Nitro Circus crew member Street-Bike Tommy would join the Maxxis/HPD Team.

Day 1 would begin as usual, with two notoriously rough stages run on the Waste Management property. The Maxxis/HPD team’s goal was to avoid damage to the car as much as possible, while remaining competitive with the field … not an easy task, given the big bumps, potholes, large rocks, and a few jumps lining the stage.

After the evening’s stages were finished, the Maxxis/HPD Fit was first in class and running third in 2WD. “We were struggling a little bit with the tight uphill sections, but we were still able to run a pretty good pace, despite how rough the stages were,” said Guitar at end of the night, “Tomorrow’s stages should be a little smoother, so we’ll start to push a little bit to see if we can keep up with the 2WD field.”

Moving into the first stage of Day 2, the car drifted wide around one corner, leading to a slight off-road excursion which damaged the front passenger suspension. Unfortunately, while working to fix the car and make it drivable, the crew exceeded its maximum lateness allowance and the car was unable to continue. After the team returned to service, Jordan reflected on the weekend: “Of course, I’m disappointed we were not to be able to finish this event. Billy Jang was doing a great job with the notes; I just carried a bit too much speed into the corner.”

“We’re really surprised at how well the Fit held up, though. The damage really isn’t that major and we shouldn’t have a problem turning it around for the next round of the championship at the New England Forest Rally in July.”

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.

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