|This is the final lap of the third Rubber Class race.
I collide with the #92 Chevette, again...
|#92 had the inside line covered all the way down the long
straight up to the hairpin.
I am not going to risk going around the outside of him because I'm certain he will slide wide again.
Sure enough, he brakes much later than I do and shoots across my nose.
|Here's the way I picture this scenario playing out...
As usual, #92 will slide wide and deep. It's impossible for him to carry this amount of speed through the rest of the turn without running out of room on the exit.
In contrast, I enter the corner slow and controlled. I can easily cut inside him from here and have lots of room to begin accelerating earlier.
I will gain the advantage of having the inside track position. And, using the full width of the track to accelerate, I can use my advantage to squeeze #92 out to the far right snowbank on the exit.
I may not get completely ahead of him, but at minimum I will be positioned alongside. More importantly, I will be on the inside for the following left turn and he will have to back off.
|Naturally, #92 has a completely different idea
of what a good line through the hairpin should look like!
He slows right down, and exits tight down the centre of the track.
It's decidedly not the fastest line around the corner. But, as a blocking maneouvre, his line very effectively weaves him across my nose twice within the same corner.
I try to tighten my line to the left to avoid him, but he resolutely spears straight into my path and we slap up against each other door to door.
Keep in mind that we're driving with normal rubber tires on ice here. Once committed to a particular line, it's not easy to make sudden directional changes.
|I shake my head in disgust.
That really was completely unneccesary.
Yet again, I've lost my momentum advantage and #92 pulls around me and ahead.
|And he moves left to prevent me getting to the inside line into the left/right chicane...|
|And he slows down (for the yellow flag still being waved in this corner), so much that I almost rear-end him!|
|I've been baulked by #92 in every corner for over a full lap
He's slowed me up so much that the red and white FWD Corolla has caught up behind me, and the Corolla just about rear-ended me when I had to jump on the brakes in this corner to avoid the suddenly slowing #92.
I take a moment to salute #92's tactics with an appropriate acknowledgement.
|Of course that was a mistake too.
While I was wasting time venting my frustration, #92 got back on the throttle a moment earlier than I did.
As we clear the stranded car, #92 is already pulling away from me.
|#92 again positions himself in the middle of the track to
prevent anyone getting inside into the upcoming sharp left turn.
Knowing I cannot catch him in a drag race, and anticipating he will slide wide again, I go all the way to the right to set up the widest possible entry to maximise my chances of passing him on the exit of this turn.
And I glance left to watch helplessly as the front wheel drive Toyota Corolla, with better straight line traction, eases up alongside me on the fast straight.
#92 has well and truly overcooked his entry into this turn.
He's come at it from the wrong angle and way too fast. Now he's all locked up and overshoots the corner.
|As #92 slides out of the picture to the right, the Corolla dives up the inside to take the corner from me.|
|But the Corolla has come in a bit too hot as well and he slides past the apex, leaving the door wide open for me.|
|Slow in, fast out. What a concept.
Just like that, I'm ahead of both of them!
|Around the final corner to the chequered flag. This time
there's no need to go slow and I let the car drift all the way across on
the slippery ice surface.
Yikes! It really is slippery here as I tap the outside rear corner against the snowbank on the exit.
It would be really embarrassing to stuff it now, just short of the finish line.
|Crossing the line I pump my fist in the air.
That was a sweet finish to the day.
So what if it was only for 17th spot. To me it felt like I won something here.