Monday, June 24, 2024

Honda forms Talon short course factory programme

Honda will add a short course division to its Honda Talon programme in 2023, announcing Tuesday the formation of Team Raceco Honda. The new outfit will field the #65 Honda Talon 1000R for Dave Mason Jr. in Championship Off-Road‘s Pro Stock SxS category.

The Talon will be a newcomer to COR, whose side-by-side classes are usually filled with Can-Ams, Polarises, and Yamahas; the Yamaha of Brock Heger won the 2022 Pro Stock SxS title. Much of its racing takes place in deserts, with Zach Sizelove racing one for the Honda Factory Off-Road Racing in SCORE International and desert events like the Mint 400. In 2022, Sizelove won SCORE’s Pro UTV NA class at the Baja 500 in a Talon 1–2 finish. Honda has also sold Talon crate engines for racing customers since November.

Jamie Campbell, whose brother Johnny Campbell has won the Baja 1000 eleven times on a bike, will serve as team manager. The operation is headquarted in Mason’s shop in Crandon, Wisconsin, near the Crandon International Raceway.

Credit: Honda

“For my entire thirty-plus-year career, starting with racing off-road motorcycles for American Honda in the mid-’90s and then moving to four wheels soon after, I’ve wanted to launch a project like this,” Campbell stated. “It’s a pleasure to be working with top-tier partners like Honda, Yokohama Tire and the Mason family, and to have support from eBay Motors. I look forward to professionally representing our stakeholders, and to showcasing the capabilities of the Honda Talon at the highest level of racing.”

Mason has extensive short course experience, currently racing in both the Midwestern COR and West Coast-based Great American Shortcourse, while also racing UTVs and buggies in SCORE. Much of his short course competition has come in Pro 2 trucks, finishing ninth in the 2022 COR standings while winning the 2021 GAS title.

The news comes on the heels of Mason competing in the NORRA Mexican 1000 in a Class 1 buggy.

“This program has been in the making for several months, and Jamie Campbell with RaceCo is currently putting the finishing touches on a very nice racecar that I will be testing soon,” wrote Mason on the Race-DeZert forum. “[…] I’m really blessed to have the chance to drive for a major manufacturer and it’s exciting to see them get involved in Short Course in the midwest.”

The 2023 COR season begins on 10/11 June in Antigo.

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