|Jim Graham and I are evenly matched on pace. Two
laps after he passed me, I'm still no closer to passing him back.
There's no point in duplicating his lines. I'm going to have to try something different...
|We're coming up to complete another lap.
Jim and I take pretty much the same lines through most of the corners, so the gap between us has been consistent for the last couple of laps.
Jim hasn't shown any intention of making a mistake or of letting me through. If I have any hope of getting past him, I will need to create my own opportunities and try to distract him into making a mistake.
|Jim prefers to go very deep down the outside of this right-hander
before turning in late to cross the slippery dark ice. He then
exits this turn tight up against the right side of the track to set up
for the next left-hander.
That's the line I prefer to take as well. But if I continue to follow the same line as Jim I'll never get any closer to him, let alone find a way past.
|So this time I try carrying a bit more speed through the
The extra speed will force me farther left on the exit. This will screw up the following corner, but it should momentarily let me close up a bit on Jim.
|Jim takes his usual line, going all the way to the right, practically stopping his car, then turning sharp left to cross the slippery dark ice, heading for the better traction available on the left side of the track at the exit of the turn.|
|Normally I would be doing the same as Jim. But this time I take the
more classic racing line, following the clearly defined groove along the
If we were running on studded tires, or if this was dry pavement, my line would make more sense than Jim's line. But late in the race this line becomes extremely slippery.
Instead of slowing down as much as Jim, turning sharp left and then trying to accelerate again, I keep my momentum up as much as I can by carving a smoother arc around the corner.
|Look at how much ground I've made up on Jim!
He was very slow going into this turn, whereas I came in with quite a bit more speed on.
Just like that, I'm suddenly right on his tail. I'm brilliant!
Different lines into a corner really do make a huge difference.
|But it's all an illusion. I haven't finished the corner yet.
Jim has already turned his car around and apexed the corner. He has good traction from here and is already accelerating hard in a straight line onto the long straightaway.
I however am still drifting wide along the very slippery polished ice surface, unable to turn any tighter or accelerate.
|I can't find any traction to accelerate until the car slides all
the way over to the right edge of the track, up against the snowbank.
By the time I finally get the tires hooked up again and start accelerating, Jim is already long gone and pulling away into the distance.
It looks as though I've gained absolutely nothing with this futile manoeuvre. But I have scored a psychological goal.
Jim will have noticed how close I got to him. Even though his line is ultimately quicker, Jim will have realised that he's vulnerable at the point where our lines crossed. Had I been just a little closer to begin with, I might even have been able to steal the corner from him.
The threat was successfully registered, and it proved to be a fruitful investment which paid off dividends on the very next lap...