Honda Factory Off-Road Racing Team earned top of the podium success for both the Honda Talon and Ridgeline at the 55th SCORE Baja 500 held on June 3, 2022. The No. 1925 Talon, with driver of record Zach Sizelove, added another back-to-back win in the Pro UTV NA class, building on their back-to-back Mint 400 wins. Ethan Ebert in the No. 709 Honda Ridgeline took the Class 7 win as he continues to master his racecraft and the challenges of Baja racing.
Both teams’ success on the 473 mile loop starting and ending in Ensenada, Baja, Mexico, was rooted in the execution of their race plan – conservative off the start then let the race come to them, with a heavy dose of patience. They also had flawless pit stops and no down-time. Their Maxxis tires were another bright spot for the teams. The Honda Talon started and finished on the same set of tires. The Ridgeline only had one flat on the day in the rugged Baja terrain.
Team Principal Jeff Proctor said, “Our team really had an all-around great day in Baja. I’m proud of the crews’ strong performance and the way they all stuck to the plan. The Talon continues to be a tough-to-beat force on the race course and Ethan is transitioning from short course to Baja racing quickly – mastering patience and preserving his equipment. The team is getting stronger every race.”
The No. 1925 Honda Talon’s campaign wasn’t without challenges from competitors, with many battles, including one to the finish. Sizelove said, “It’s exciting to have another back-to-back win, that kind of record doesn’t happen by accident. I can’t thank the Honda Factory Off-Road team enough for the tough Talon they prep and the best support.” Sizelove’s finishing time was 12:59:51.
Ebert tackled the Baja terrain strategically to build on his desert-racing experience. Ebert said, “The Baja 500 was a blast for the whole Honda team! Joe and I kept four wheels down and the RPMs high! We ran a smooth and consistent race, and were able to put the Honda Ridgeline on the top of the box. This was my first time driving the truck down in Baja and Honda HPD gave us a rocket of an engine. A big thank you to Jeff and the whole Honda crew on race prep and testing. Success in Baja comes down to prep, planning, and a great execution!” The Ridgeline finished with a time of 11:14:55.
The next race for the Honda Off-Road Racing team is the Best In The Desert Vegas to Reno in August.