2000 Western Canadian Ice-Race Championship

The Big Wreck (Part 1)

Sunday, March 5, 2000

No VideoFirst I must apologise to those of you who have been waiting for me to post a video clip of the crash.  The sad truth is that there is no record of the crash from my in-car video camera.  It's tragic.

The camera mount was a little wobbly all weekend.  Just before this race I tried tightening the screw a little more and stupidly cracked the mounting.  I didn't want to risk having the camera fall off its perch, so I removed it.  I'm quite happy I did, because the mounting would surely have failed in the impact and the camera would probably have gone through the windshield!

Yes VideoFortunately, Jim Graham started this race behind me.  We were separated only by Chris Zuke's red #98 Chevette.  So Jim's in-car camera should have caught all the action.

Unfortunately, although the incident occurred only halfway around the opening lap, by that time I was already so far ahead of Jim (ahem) that he missed seeing the actual impact.  Nonetheless, there are some images to share.  And, of course, there's a story that goes along with them...
Ferdinand in his WW1 Ice-Racing Helmet But first, here's a little background information to lay the foundation for the excuses that follow.  I swear, it's all the gospel truth.

Have I ever lied to you before?

The weather was quite mild in the days leading up to this race weekend.  As a result the ice surface melted and refroze smooth as glass.  The organisers eventually called in a truck to spread sand throughout the paddock area in an effort to prevent people from falling down and hurting themselves.

The racing surface, however, was left mirror smooth.  It was as though someone had run the Zamboni around the track between periods.  The conditions were fine for the guys in the Studded Tire classes.  But the total lack of traction did not bode well for those of us on Rubber Tires.

Ice surface in the Paddock

The Studded cars run first and chew a nice groove along the racing line.  There is plenty of traction to be found on that line immediately thereafter.
Jay and Landon up the snowbank As they rip up the ice surface, studded tires throw huge quantities of ice chips across the width of the track.  This effectively blankets and hides the treacherously slippery ice surface offline.  The organisers send snowplows out between races to clean the track as much as possible.  But it's often not enough.

Straying from the racing line in a curve onto the mirror smooth ice surface can lead to an instant trip into the snowbank, as is demonstrated here by two of the best drivers of the Chevette series -- Jay Esterer and Landon Goudreau.

Nearly everyone eventually stuffed their car into this particular snowbank at least once during the weekend.  But I think I'm the only one who managed to hit another car in the process...

Note the excellent visibility as I'm running alone with no one kicking snow in my face.  It's a lot different on the opening lap of each race when everyone is crowded together.
After three races in the Chevette class and another three races in the Rubber class on Saturday, I was 4th in the Chevette points, ranked behind Jay Esterer, Johnny Wiersma, and Landon Goudreau!

And even better yet, the car was still in pristine condition.

Pristine!

News Flash!

This just in from the Famous-Last-Words department ...
 
Show us the damage.
Jim:
(filming)
"Car #79 is holding together good, ...(today).

And there's Ferdinand."

"Show us the damage."

Ferd:
(pointing)
"That's all!  ha-ha.
That little bit of red paint.
And it wasn't my fault."
Jim:
"A little better than last year."
Ferd:
"So far ...
Keeping my fingers crossed."
Show us the damage. ASF file video clip (0.4 MB) of me feeling smug about my good day.  Transcript above.

 
The very next day I went and did this to the car!

  Damn.

See The Big Wreck (Part 2).

Ouch!

 

| 2000 Ice-Races | Ferd's Race Cars | Ferd's Homepage |