First time visitor to GHR Honda?
Subscribe to the GHR Honda mailing list here and join our Dakar campaign!
Formed in 2001 by Glenn Hoffmann, GHR Honda has worked tirelessly to become one of the world’s best 450 rally teams.
Glenn’s personal success in events such as the Condo 750 Rally and his managerial expertise running corporate trail rides made the formation of GHR a natural progression after he ceased competing as a rider in 2000. Initially operated on an after hours basis it rapidly gained momentum and has now become a full time professional racing operation.
That year, Honda Australia were seeking a team to take the newly released XR650 to top level in competition. GHR Honda were selected to orchestrate the campaign, and managed development of the XR650 rally platform and race team to secure 2nd place in the Australian Safari in the same year. Other noteworthy results for 2001 were a clean sweep of the podium with 1st, 2nd and 3rd outright in the Riverina Cross Country Rally, and a 1st and 4th outright in the Sunraysia Cross Country Rally.
2002 brought another solid podium finish in the Australian Safari with second place, and 1st outright in both the Western Plains Cross Country Rally and Sunraysia Cross Country Rally.
GHR’s focus on rally racing intensified in 2003 by securing 2nd and 3rd place in the Australian Safari. GHR were also victorious in the Condo 750 Rally – a coming of age for the team, with Glenn having won the Condo himself in his own days as a rider.
2004 was a significant year on a number of fronts. Honda stepped into the water-cooled 250 arena for the first time with the new CRF250X. This new machine was a massive break from Honda’s air-cooled XR250, and GHR was selected to manage the Australian launch and media materials.
In their fourth consecutive year running Honda Australia’s Safari program, with over 80,000km of competitive rally racing without a single mechanical DNF, GHR had a breakthrough victory with the XR650.
The dawn of the 450 age…
2004 also brought about the racing debut of the new water-cooled 450, and there began a series of reliability records that are yet to be bested. It saw the ascent of the CRF450R to victory in the Finke Desert Race – GHR bikes claiming both 1st and 3rd outright in the event. The Condo 750 Rally that year also saw GHR claim 1st outright, 2nd outright, and 1st in the 250cc 4 stroke class.
In 2005 GHR Honda shifted up a gear with contracts signed for the first permanent part time mechanics. It was a huge year for the team, with forays into SuperMoto, EnduroX, the Australian Offroad Series, Longtrack, Enduro, the Condo 750 Rally and Finke Desert Race. Although there was no Australian Safari this year, its omission from the racing calendar afforded time for these other diverse events – and the effort was worthwhile. 1st place in the 250cc International Prolites at the Ssangyong International SuperMoto event was the beginning of big things in the world of sideways mixed surface racing for GHR. Still in the realms of the unusual for the Australian scene, the EnduroX yielded 1st and 2nd outright, 1st 450cc 4 stroke, and 2nd in 450cc 4 stroke. The wins and podiums continued to accrue. Australian Longtrack Title, 1st in 450cc and over 4 stroke. Australian Offroad Series, GHR riders secured 2nd outright, 1st 250cc 4 stroke, 1st in class (E1), 3rd outright, 1st 450cc 4 stroke and 2nd in class (E2). A4DE, 2nd 250cc 4 stroke. Finke Desert Race, 4th and 5th outright. Condo 750 Rally, 1st outright, 1st 250cc 4 stroke class, and 2nd outright.
GHR goes full time…
After such a busy year in 2005, the part time members of the mechanical team were signed up to full time operations in 2006. GHR was now a fully fledged professional race team with domination their objective. There was victory in the Australian Supermoto Championship with a 1st outright in the S3 250cc 4 stroke class. There was a 2nd outright, 1st 450cc 4 stroke class in the Hattah Desert Race and 3rd outright, 2nd 450cc 4 stroke class in the Finke Desert Race. There was a 4th place in the 450cc 4 stroke class of the A4DE, but the biggest success came with the Condo 750 Rally. GHR riders secured 1st outright (for the fourth consecutive year, no less), 1st 450cc 4 stroke and 2nd outright, 2nd 450cc 4 stroke respectively. The CRF450 platform was now a force to be reckoned with, continuing to offer up incredible reliability and pace.
GHR’s authority in desert and rally racing was further defined in 2007 with a 1st outright, 1st in class and 6th outright, 3rd in class for team entrants in the first Australian Safari to be held for 3 years. Outright victories in the Australian Offroad Championship (1st in E2 class, also 3rd outright, 1st in E1 class) and the Hattah Desert Race followed. The Finke Desert Race results from 2004 were repeated – 1st and 3rd outright. A 2nd outright in the Condo 750 Rally and both 4th outright and 3rd in E2 class in the A4DE were sound results also.
Rally momentum only grew in 2008. Australasian Safari, 1st and 3rd outright on 450’s. Yellow Mountain Desert Race, 1st and 2nd outright. Finke Desert Race, 1st outright. Condo 750 Rally, 1st and 3rd outright. Hattah Desert Race, 2nd and 3rd outright. Not limiting their interests, GHR secured 1st in 250cc 4 stroke and 3rd outright in the A4DE, and both 2nd and 4th outright in the Australian Offroad Series.
2009 saw the introduction of the all new CRF450R. This bike was all new from the ground up with the team having to fabricate many parts from scratch. New forks, shock, frame, engine and fuel injection tested the teams developmental skills early on. By the third round of the championship the GHR 450Rs had tasted victory in the Offroad Championship and by June had won the Finke Desert Race in the 450cc class. By the end of day four of the Safari, GHR had both new riders running 1st and 2nd outright with only a 10 second gap between them and a twenty minute lead over the larger capacity
570 KTM’s. GHR went on to victory with the youngest ever winner.
Brothers Todd and Jacob Smith dominated the 2011 Australasian Safari to finish first and second outright in the presence of France’s multiple Dakar champion, Cyril Despres. This sensational display of determination by both riders and the team was the first time a Factory KTM450RR was beaten by Australian developed production machines. Victory was secured once again in 2012 with Jacob Smith taking first place honours and Warren Strange close behind in second on his 2013 Dakar spec GHR Honda CRF450X. With the 2011 Dakar Rally treated as a development event for the team, the momentum for GHR’s 2013 Dakar campaign continues to build.