After a 50-year run, Honda is officially pulling out of Baja racing, at least for 2014.
Photography by Mark Kariya
The Johnny Campbell Racing (JCR) Team, long affiliated with Honda and its off-road racing program, primarily in Baja, announced today that it is officially withdrawing from SCORE International Baja racing for 2014. This will be the first time in over 50 years that Honda, from the factory level, will not be fielding a team in Baja, which includes the Baja 500 and 1000. During that span, Honda has amassed over 23 Baja victories, including 11 with long-time Baja racer Johnny Campbell. Honda also currently enjoys 17 consecutive wins in the Baja 1000.
Campbell says that the JCR/Honda Team will be taking on a new set of “exciting challenges” that will be announced in the near future.
“With so much success over the past two decades of Baja motorcycle racing, the time has come for us to search out new opportunities and a new set of goals,” said Campbell in a release. “JCR/Honda has had an amazing experience working with SCORE International and an even better experience living the Baja dream. The extraordinary fans, the great sponsors and supporters all have made this lifestyle a gift I truly cherish.
“I have been honored to carry on the legacy of my great mentor - the late Bruce Ogilvie - who's passion for Baja and this program has been carried on through the spirit of this team. The biggest thing that has made JCR and Honda so successful in Baja racing is the JCR/Honda race support crews, they are the backbone of this program. Without the selfless sacrifices of the pit captains and crews we would be nowhere. If just one crew person is not in the right place at the right time, the wins and championships would not have been obtainable. I sincerely thank each and everyone who has stood hand in hand with myself and the JCR/Honda team through the decades of dominance. Our new direction will be announced shortly. I have no doubt this will be an amazing year."
The JCR/Honda Team has in the past competed in many other forms of one-off and National Championship events, such as hare and hound, EnduroCross, AMA/District 37 (desert) races and the Glen Helen Endurance Series. The team has also been a big player in the Big 6/West Coast GP Series, which was won by JCR/Honda’s Timmy Weigand.