|On lap three I get passed by Landon Goudreau, but profit from someone else's mistake to retake a position.|
|Nearing the hairpin at the end of the front straight, I glance over to my left as the car of Landon Goudreau draws up alongside.|
Here's the spot where the tire tracks head off to the right and over the snowbank.
It's probably best to pay attention to where I'm going at this point.
|Landon's Yellow #31 slides deep into the hairpin and then nearly
comes to a stop, broadside on the path I'm taking. I'm forced to
slow down and swerve further left than I had intended.
Ahead of Landon, Chris Zuke is taking the long way around the outside of the hairpin while Jim Graham cuts well to the inside in an attempt to pass Zuke.
|Landon moves all the way to the right, which gives me a bit more
room to accelerate. But there's no way I can keep up with Landon.
Up ahead, Zuke has managed to hold off Jim Graham.
|Landon steadily pulls away from me, and rapidly gains ground on Jim and Chris as those two distract each other from running the ideal line through the chicane.|
|Jim, starting to feel the pressure from Landon, makes a move on Chris at the end of the back straight.|
|Chris Zuke runs too deep, and now he's on the very slippery ice
surface well outside of the racing groove. I'm hoping to follow
Landon's line and pass Chris.
The studded cars have cut deep ruts into the ice at this turn. I'd like to keep my front wheels away from the ruts, and lean the outside rear wheel into the trough as Landon is doing.
But one of my front wheels hooks the rut instead and yanks me away from my intended line.
|Watch in the video how my hands fly on the steering wheel as I try
to correct my mistake.
Meanwhile, Chris Zuke spins out in front of me!
Okay, that gave me a fright.
|I just had a mental flashback to last year's head on collision, which
ended my weekend and completely trashed my car. Except it's not my
car at all. It's Jim Graham's second car, normally driven by Don
Jim threatened to confiscate my return airticket to Ottawa if I failed to return the car in one piece at the end of this weekend. And here I just about blew it.
The ice surface is very slippery over here, outside of the racing line, and I am barely able to drag the car back to the left without nailing Chris Zuke.
Note to self:
Check underwear for skidmarks...
|I was eventually passed by two more cars and finished
this race in 10th position.  This was to be my
best finish of the weekend.
Last year at this point, after three Chevette Class races, I was ranked 4th. This time I finished the three races in 12th, 12th, and 10th. That leaves me in 14th spot in the day's points standings (5th last). Bummer.
Jim Graham is so concerned about my lack of performance that he offers to trade cars with me in the next Rubber Class race! Wow. It is extremely generous of Jim to make this offer, but there is no way I could accept that.
It would be great if we switched cars and I promptly won the next race. So far Jim has finished 2nd, 5th, and 5th, and he's currently ranked 2nd in the Chevette Class standings for the weekend. But, given my history of trashing cars, there is a remote chance that Jim's potential Championship winning car might come to grief in my hands. That would be unpardonable and I'm sure I'd never be invited back.
Moreover, I'm secretly afraid that I'll do no better with Jim's car. I prefer to believe there's something mechanically wrong with my car. But if we switch cars now and Jim beats me anyway, what's left of my confidence would be competely shattered. I'd have to eat crow and admit that it's all my own fault because I just can't drive worth shit. I'd have a hard time coping with that...