Honda Talon Wins its Class in Baja 1000 Debut

The Raceco USA team came in second over all, and first in the naturally aspirated class.

The Raceco USA team finished ahead of the race-winning Polaris RZR, but a 10-minute penalty put their final standing at second overall.Justin Coffey

The Honda Talon came away with a Naturally Aspirated Class victory in its first year at the Baja 1000. “We only had 40 miles of test time on the car,” Jamie Campbell says. If that name sounds familiar, it should. Jamie’s brother is Baja legend Johnny Campbell. Jaime’s also the owner of Raceco USA, and also a veteran motorcycle UTV racer. In this year’s Baja 1000, Campbell shared driver duties with Adrian Arredondo and Cisco Bio. Their Talon was outfitted with a custom-fabricated chassis and suspension parts manufactured by Raceco USA, but the team chose to leave the power department relatively stock.

“It’s a stock engine right from the factory,” Campbell says. “Alba Racing tuned the ECU for us and got rid of all the California emissions stuff. I wanted to make sure the Talon went the distance without any issues.” The race rig was also equipped with a prototype K&N air filter in the stock location and a KWT particle separator. Baja silt presents the ultimate test for any vehicle’s engine air intake system. “The air filter looked pretty gnarly in the end, but we didn’t change it at all during the race. The system worked.”

Aside from one flat tire and an intermittent power steering issue, the car had a near flawless run. “We just trucked along, kept our momentum up and tried not to stop too long in the pits,” Campbell says. The strategy worked as the team unofficially finished first overall. Unfortunately, the team missed a virtual checkpoint, and race officials hit the team with a 10-minute penalty. This dropped the team to second overall with just 58 seconds separating them from the first place Forced Induction Class RZR.

The strong finish means the team will be back next year, with an eye toward an overall win.Justin Coffey

“It’s still good, we’re stoked we won our class,” Campbell says. “We still got second overall in a car that has half the horsepower of these turbo cars.” Needless to say, the Raceco USA Honda Talon Team will be heading back to Baja next year.