HPD Blog

Friday, August 18, 2017

Maxxis / HPD Rally Team Continues Podium Streak at Sno*Drift Summer Rally!

Atlanta, Michigan. (August 5, 2017) Maxxis renewed its partnership with Honda Performance Development to continue campaigning the 2015 B-Spec Fit and the 2017 2WD Honda Civic Sport at the third running of the Sno*Drift Summer Rally.  This one-day rally utilized many of the same roads as the first round of Rally America competition earlier in the year. While the roads were familiar, driving them without the usual covering of snow was a first for the team.   

The absence of snow and temperatures in the 70s were not the only changes.  This rally was the first of the year to not provide stage notes or to allow ‘recce.’  This forced competitors to rely heavily on how they could read the road, and much less on the co-driver’s instruction.  With the team’s streak of podiums having continued in the previous round at Rally Colorado, the pressure was on to finish well at Sno*Drift Summer.   

In preparation for the event, the HPD/Maxxis Civic underwent a transmission swap.  Out came the stock CVT and in went a six-speed manual.  “While it is not quite the Type R engine and transmission swap that we have in the work, it will be nice to be able to attack these stages with a true manual transmission,” said driver James Robinson.  

The event kicked off in Lewiston, Michigan, with 31 cars at Parc Expose.  The rally was broken into two separate legs of around 20 stage miles each, split by an unusually long but appreciated 90-minute service. 


After the first leg of competition, both the HPD/Maxxis Civic and Fit rolled into service in good shape and in good standing on the time sheets.  “The B-Spec car is having to work very hard in the soft and sandy conditions,” driver Dan McCarron noted at service.  “We’ve gotten the hang of [having] no pace notes and are ready to keep the momentum going into the second leg.”

With no major issues at service for either car, the team set about clearing the sand and rocks from the Civic’s radiator and intercooler.  “We pulled some rocks the size of baseballs out of the inside of the bumper,” detailed crew chief Steven Olona.  At the conclusion of 90-minute service, both cars fueled up and headed out for the final leg of the rally. 

Continuing to show how competitive the Civic platform is, the team of Robinson and Terry Hansen was able to finish second in 2WD, and sixth overall.  “I’m so impressed with how durable this new Civic is,” observed Robinson before the start of the final stages. “Even with the disadvantage of the stock suspension, it’s amazing that we’re able to keep up with the top teams!”

The team of McCarron and Justin Lumbard built on its first-place championship lead by winning in B-Spec, finishing fourth in 2WD, and 15th overall.  McCarron/Lumbard left Michigan with a 48-point lead in the B-Spec national championship.  “It feels great to come up to Michigan, run a strong race and leave here with points and a car in great shape,” said McCarron afterward. 

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