TORRANCE, California, June 5, 2018 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Team Honda Racing Ridgeline’s class victory in this weekend’s 50th annual Baja 500 capped a near-perfect weekend of racing for both the Honda and Acura brands, scoring four of a possible five wins, and 10 of 11 possible podium results.
The string of trophy results included a Honda sweep of both races making up the Detroit IndyCar Series doubleheader weekend; a 1-2 finish for the Acura NSX GT3 in the companion IMSA sports car race in Detroit, second and third-place Prototype finishes for the Acura ARX-05s in the same event, and a Class 7 triumph for the Ridgeline Baja Race Truck in Mexico.
“What an incredible weekend,” said Art St. Cyr, President of Honda Performance Development, American Honda’s performance division responsible for both Honda Racing and Acura Motorsports programs. “To come away with two Indy car victories, and taking five of the six podium positions, speaks to the strengths of our Indy car program. In addition, we’re celebrating a thrilling 1-2 victory for our Acura NSX GT3, a double-podium finish for our Acura ARX-05 prototype, and another win for Honda at the Baja 500. Results like this are a testament to the dedication and never-ceasing efforts of everyone at HPD and our partner teams.”
The first weekend of June got underway with a 1-2 finish for the pair of Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3s on the Belle Isle temporary circuit in Detroit. Katherine Legge and Mario Farnbacher took their Acura to victory in the GTD category; with teammates Lawson Aschenbach and Justin Marks following them home in second.
In the same race, Acura Team Penske challenged for the overall and Prototype win in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race, with the pairing of Ricky Taylor and Helio Castroneves finishing second in their ARX-05; while teammates Dane Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya ran third in their Acura prototype.
Later that afternoon, Scott Dixon led a first-through-sixth Honda routing of the competition in the opening round of the Verizon IndyCar Series “Dual in Detroit.” Fellow Honda drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay, in second, and Alexander Rossi, third, completed the podium for Honda. Marco Andretti, Takuma Sato and Ed Jones finished fourth, fifth and sixth to complete the manufacturer’s domination of the Race 1 results.
Also on Saturday, the Team Honda Racing Ridgeline won the Baja 500 for the second time in the last three years. Running in Class 7 for unlimited, six-cylinder trucks and SUVs, team owner/driver Jeff Proctor and navigator Evan Weller moved from fourth to first during the opening half of the grueling desert off-road classic.
Second driver Patrick Daily and new navigator Bill Barooky took over in the cockpit of the Ridgeline at the team’s scheduled pit stop, just past the mid-point in the 540-mile race, and continued to build their advantage into the evening. At the finish, the Ridgeline Baja truck won Class 7 by the impressive margin of more than two hours, adding a third trophy to the team’s class win in 2016 and third-place finish in last year’s “500”.
Honda continued its winning ways on Sunday, as Hunter-Reay used the speed enabled by a three pit-stop strategy to come from behind and win the second Indy car “Dual in Detroit“, besting teammate Rossi in the closing laps of the race. Jones then equaled his best result of 2018 to finish third, with Saturday’s winner Dixon in fourth. Fifth-finisher Graham Rahal, and Robert Wickens in sixth gave Honda five of the top six finishing positions in the weekend closer.
Hunter-Reay’s victory gave Honda a 103-point lead over Chevrolet (667-564) in the 2018 IndyCar Manufacturers’ Championship heading into the ninth of 17 rounds this Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
About Honda Performance Development
HPD was founded in 1993 to spearhead American Honda’s entry into Indy car racing. No other manufacturer has matched the company’s success in Indy cars, which includes 229 race victories, 15 drivers’ championships, six competitive manufacturers’ championships and 12 Indianapolis 500 victories since 2004.
HPD, Acura and Honda have a history of success in endurance sports car racing, with more than 100 prototype victories, including either class or overall wins at the Rolex 24, 12 Hours of Sebring, 24 Hours of Le Mans and Petit Le Mans. Acura and HPD swept all prototype championships in the 2009 American Le Mans Series; and won the North American Endurance Championship manufacturers’ title in 2016.
HPD’s Acura and Honda engines have recorded 79 race wins at endurance sports car races around the world, with 71 of those victories coming in the HPD-developed “ARX” line of sports prototype cars. For more information about HPD and the company’s racing product lines, please visit http://hpd.honda.com.
SOURCE Honda Performance Development