Johnson Valley, CA
The season is off to a solid start for the Team Honda Talon Factory Racing program, on one of the roughest King of the Hammers UTV courses, with impressive finishes for the two cars of No. 94 Christopher Polvoorde and No. 3 Eliott Watson, as attested by the 25% finishing rate - 133 started and only 33 finished.
Even as King of the Hammers (KOH) rookies, both drivers impressively qualified in the Top 20 - Christopher started 18th and Eliott 20th. Beating out more experienced KOH veterans and desert racing champions.
Polvoorde crossed the finish line 21st physically, with an official finish with corrected time of 17th place in 6 hours 1 minute. Polvoorde’s take on the day, “I’m pretty stoked. It was cool. King of the Hammers is gnarly - you hear about it and now I can vouch for it. It’s long, treacherous and those rocks... It’s cool to see how capable these cars are. You pull up to a 6’ or 10’ ledge that doesn’t seem passable, but I just point and shoot and the Talon climbs right up it. I was in awe the whole time. We didn’t have to winch once, which is pretty epic.”
Watson wasn’t far behind, finishing 25th physically and officially 26th with a time of 7 hours 29 minutes. Watson said, “The Talon was awesome. I had no mechanical issues at all. The car ran flawless. I made a couple mistakes but the car pulled us through. We had a great run in the desert.”
Watson continued, “The most challenging part for me was the rocks, but even the desert was very technical - a lot of dust and cars broken down out there. To start the season like this, is perfect. We took a lot of great notes on the Talon that will apply to the whole year and push us forward.”
All in, the Honda Talon proved reliable and effective. “These Honda Talons are so incredibly tough,” recounts Jeff Proctor, Team Principal, “I think a lot of people were questioning my sanity in making this our debut race for the Talon race program. I knew we were up for the challenge. We tackled the steep learning curve with a great product and gained invaluable experience. It was a great day for Honda Powersports.”
Proctor continues, “We have two talented drivers that came out and drove a hell of race. I think just finishing KOH is an accomplishment - it’s a true test of man and machine. It really pushes the equipment to the extreme. This race is a great stepping stone and this finish gives us confidence and momentum as we head to the The Mint 400, another notoriously rough race.”
The Team Honda Talon 1000R Turbos ran a nearly stock package with minimal changes to take on the demanding King of the Hammers’ rock and desert conditions. The side-by-sides were developed by Proctor Racing Group (PRG) using, Jackson Racing Turbo, KMC Wheels, STEEL-IT Coatings chassis, Gibson Performance exhaust, Baja Designs lights, Sparco Seats and Harnesses, Warn Winch and MPI steering wheel.
Photography By: Bink Designs