Honda Off-Road Race Team Wins Baja 1000.
- At a legendary event, the Honda Ridgeline wins Class 7 honors.
- Alexander Rossi wins the Indianapolis 500, Rolex 24 at Daytona, and the Baja 1000 for the first time.
- Ridgeline has won off-road racing for the fourth year in a row in 2021.
November 21, 2021 — LA PAZ, Mexico – The Honda Off-Road Racing Team returned to Baja California this weekend, completing its series of 2021 victories by winning the Class 7 race at the legendary off-road event. The victory was the Ridgeline Off-Road Race Truck’s fourth in a row this season, and the Ridgeline’s fifth in Baja, but the first in a “point-to-point” Baja 1000, which ran the length of the peninsula from Ensenada to La Paz.
The #709 Honda Ridgeline driving lineup of team owner Jeff Proctor, 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi, Richard Glaszczak, and Baja legend Steve Hengeveld – paired with navigator Evan Weller – faced a challenging course that began in the coastal city of Ensenada and ended 1,226 miles south in La Paz. This year’s 54th iteration of the event drew a total of 302 entries.
The Ridgeline got off to a great start, with Proctor vying for the class lead with Dan Chamlee’s #700 Ford for the first 300 miles until the Honda team created a lead they would keep – and grow – all the way to the finish.
At the 350-mile mark, starting driver Proctor passed off to Glaszcak, who then handed off to Rossi at the 632-mile pit stop, as both started to create an ever-larger lead for the Ridgeline. During the pit stop at Mile Marker 883, Rossi successfully finished his overnight stint to hand over driving duties to Hegeveld, giving the Ridgeline a lead of more than 100 miles over Chamlee and the rest of the Class 7 field.
Proctor returned to the cockpit for the last hours, winning the Class 7 race by just over three hours with a timing of 23 hours, four minutes, and 59 seconds. It was the Honda Off-Road Ridgeline’s fourth win in a row in 2021, following victories earlier in the year at the San Felipe 250, Baja 500, and Vegas to Reno off-road events.
Jeff Proctor (team owner/driver Honda Ridgeline Baja Race Truck) won Class 7 for unlimited V6 Trucks; first “point-to-point” Baja 1000 race win for Honda: “As always, I’m really proud of my crew and everyone here helping the Honda Ridgeline maximize its performance. They’ve more than put in the hours of work required to bring the Ridgeline across the finish line. Over the past year, we’ve fine-tuned our program, in particular, we switched to 40” Maxxis tires which has been a game changer for us. And with Evan Weller’s prep and expert navigation, I feel like we’ve covered our bases.”
Alexander Rossi (driver, Honda Ridgeline Baja Race Truck) Class 7 winner, becomes the first driver to win the Indianapolis 500; Rolex 24 at Daytona; and Baja 1000: “What a wild ride this race, this event, is. I can’t even begin to explain what it’s like. It’s equally chaotic, awesome, and terrifying! To drive this truck through the desert, and the mountains, in the middle of the night, through the fog that’s rolling in from the ocean – with hundreds of other cars and their dust – is unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced. It’s insane, and it’s really cool. I feel very fortunate to be able to take part in it three times now, with Honda and HPD. To help give Honda this very big win is something very special to me. Huge shout out to [team owner] Jeff Proctor for letting me drive his truck; to our navigator, Evan Weller, he’s ‘the man’; and the entire Honda Off-Road Racing Team for such a huge effort.”
- Alexander Rossi is the sixth Indianapolis 500 winner to compete in Baja, but he is the first to win the “500,” the Baja 1000, and the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the same year.
- Parnelli Jones, Rick Mears, Buddy Rice, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Danny Sullivan are among the other Indianapolis 500 winners who will compete in Baja. Jones won both the Indianapolis 500 and the Baja 1000, but his sole Daytona 24-hour appearance resulted in a DNF. Rice won at Indy and Daytona but not at Baja, whereas Mears’ best results at Daytona were two third-place finishes.
- The Honda Ridgeline Baja Race Truck is powered by the same production-based, Honda Performance Development turbocharged V6 engine that powered the Wayne Taylor Racing Acura ARX05 that won the Rolex 24 at Daytona this year, driven by Filipe Albuquerque, Ricky Taylor, and Rossi. A range of Honda and Acura passenger vehicles, including the Acura MDX and Honda Ridgeline, are powered by the base 3.5-liter engine.
- Honda’s 14th Indianapolis 500 victory in May and fourth consecutive NTT INDYCAR SERIES Manufacturers’ Championship in September capped off a highly successful season for HPD, which also included Honda’s 14th Indianapolis 500 victory in May and fourth consecutive NTT INDYCAR SERIES Manufacturers’ Championship in September.