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Pirelli Paddock Pass: Kevin Boehm

CrowdStrike/DXDT Racing driver Kevin Boehm talks TC America, sim racing and more…

Photo: Brian Cleary/CrowdStrike Racing

While new to DXDT Racing this year, Kevin Boehm has brought years of racing and engineering experience with front-wheel driven Hondas to the Utah-based team, which has expanded its efforts into TC America.

Boehm, who works as a test engineer for Honda R&D Americas, kicked off the 2020 season at Circuit of The Americas with a double podium finish in his CrowdStrike-sponsored Honda Civic Si that’s been developed by Honda Performance Development.

In the latest Pirelli Paddock Pass, we check in with Boehm on a wide range of topics, from his day job to sim racing and more.

How has it been working with the CrowdStrike/DXDT team this year in TC America?

“It’s been a completely new experience to work with CrowdStrike Racing and the DXDT team this year. In the past, I was not only the race car driver, but also the truck driver, travel agent, mechanic, engineer, and crew chief.

“For example, before joining TC America, I was racing in a Type R swapped Civic Si that I had built myself from a white body.

“The HPD Civic Si I’m driving this year is a turn-key race car –it still requires work, but not nearly as much as a hand-built vehicle. Having some of these items off my plate this year has really allowed me to focus on my track performance.”

Given your previous racing experience with Hondas, what do you think are some of the things you’ve helped bring to the team, which is relatively new to both Honda and touring cars?

“Both CrowdStrike Racing and the DXDT team are packed with some of the best talent on both sides of the pit wall.

“I think my specialized experience behind the wheel as well as under the hood of Honda vehicles and front wheel drive race cars adds something new to the existing talent pool.”

Your ‘day job’ is working with Honda of Americas. Tell us about it…

“I am very fortunate to be a test engineer at Honda R&D Americas. It is a unique role because I work on vehicles 2-3 years before they’re released to the public.

“I’ve spent most of my time fine tuning stability control, traction control, and ABS systems.

“My most notable project was the latest Acura NSX –in order to make sure it lived up to customer expectations, we drove it at famous tracks across the world, like the Nürburgring, and in unique locations, like New Zealand. It was an amazing experience and I feel lucky to have been a part of it.”

You were quite competitive in SRO America’s GT Rivals esports series. Did you have a lot of sim racing experience prior to GT Rivals? Were you surprised by the success you had?

“Thank you. No, prior to GT Rivals, I really only used sim racing to get familiar with unfamiliar tracks. I had not raced other sim drivers in more than ten years. I had never driven Assetto Corsa Competizione before GT Rivals started, so I had an enormous learning curve. Also, many of the tracks on the schedule were new to me.

“I knew that I was going to be racing against many of the best drivers in SRO so I put a lot of time and effort into practicing. In the end, I averaged over 40 hours per week to get up to speed for each event.

“I was surprised by my success in the beginning of the season, but by the end of the season, I expected myself to be a contender at every event.”

How has preparation been going for the racing restart at VIR?

“My Honda Civic Si has been ready for VIR for quite a while now. It doesn’t require a lot of maintenance between events since most of the parts are OEM.

“VIR is one of my favorite tracks and I am very familiar with it. I won my fourth SCCA National Championship there in October 2019, so I am excited to start the season back up there in July.”

There will likely be triple-headers for TC America in the events to come. Do you relish that opportunity of having more racing over the weekend?

“I am excited for the additional race at each of the remaining rounds. However, it does pose some logistical challenges with the service life of some parts. Due to this, I think VIR will be a bit of a learning experience.

“However, COTA was my first (and only) TC America race, so nearly everything this year is already a learning experience anyway.”

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