The first Honda Ridgeline to compete in the Unlimited Open Wheel class of the Baja 1000 endurance race took first place in that class over the weekend.
The Ridgeline race truck, a joint venture between Honda Performance Development and the Proctor Racing Group, finished the grueling high-speed desert race in exactly 25 hours, 9 minutes and 47 seconds, averaging an impressive 32.64 mph. The overall first-place finisher for the 48th Baja 1000 was Rob MacCachren in the Unlimited Trophy Truck category, finishing in just less than 16 hours.
We first saw this race rig at the 2015 Specialty Equipment Market Association Show in Las Vegas, where we got a chance to do a quick of the custom high-performance desert runner.
The HPD Ridgeline is power by a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 that produces 550 horsepower and shares many of its design cues with the coming production 2016 Honda Ridgeline. To date we've seen only of the new, more traditional-looking midsize pickup, but we expect to get behind the wheel later this spring. Whether this Baja class win bodes well for the new Honda Ridgeline remains to be seen.
The three drivers who took the new Honda to the end of the 821-mile looping course (starting and finishing in Ensenada, Mexico), were Jeff Proctor, Jason LaFortune and Honda product specialist Sage Marie. We've included some of their pre-race testing photos (sans body panels) as well.