|Continuing from where we left off after my error in the hairpin,
Landon is now passing me into the Kink on the back straight.
Trent in the grey car and I are on equal lines and equal pace entering this corner.
Landon in the yellow car, in completing his pass on me, comes charging into this corner on a tighter line and with way more speed than either Trent or me.
|A lesser driver might have drifted straight off into the far
snowbank. But Landon would not make that kind of mistake. He
is well in control of his car, and looks like he's hoping to carry his
momentum right past Trent's car as well.
Still, you can see how his higher initial speed into the corner now carries him wide off to the right.
|And, as Trent heads into the second portion of the Kink with his
car already pointing to the right, Landon's car is still pointing off to
Landon will either need to back way off the power now, or for sure his line will carry him far out to the left on the exit of the Kink.
|Landon cannot afford to back off the power, because I'm right here
waiting for him to do that.
Instead he carries his speed into the right hander in a big power slide. In the process he drifts over to the far left edge of the track where the ice is extremely slippery.
|Now we're back to pretty much the identical scenario we had on the
previous lap when I passed Landon.
Note Trent and I are still at the same speed. It's Landon that's slow again coming out of the Kink. And he's way off to the left again where there's less traction.
On the previous lap he stayed left to defend the inside line into the upcoming lefthander at the end of the straight, whereas I went all the way to the right to set up a wider approach.
That worked really well for me last time, so I'm sticking with the same plan again this time around.
|But Landon is no dummy. He's fully aware of what I'm trying to
do and he says, no way José. You're not going to pull that move on me
He quite deliberately and firmly slams the door shut on that option by swinging his car all the way across the track to cut in front of me.
|I don't consider that as "blocking".
Landon is still far enough ahead of me for him to be entitled to take whatever line he pleases. He realises he's on the wrong side of the track, still has time to make the correction, and slots back in front of me.
Still, the sudden defensive move seems a bit desperate and it forces me to back off a bit earlier than I had intended.
I think Landon is starting to feel the pressure.
|I'm briefly tempted to carry my speed advantage into a bonzai diving passing
attempt down the inside.
But there's no chance whatsoever of making that work from this far back, so I back off to wait for a safer opportunity.
|Landon is taking a run at Trent.
At first it looks like he is trying to pass Trent around the outside, then changes his mind to go left, and finally is balked completely as Trent is very slow on the exit...
|... which allows me to close up tight again as we enter the Esses.|
|Here Landon does something peculiar.
Everyone else is taking as straight a line as possible through here. But Landon pulls way over to the right, presumably to benefit from the better traction available on the snowy surface.
|But now he needs to swing his car hard left to get it pointed in the right direction before he can launch down the next straight.|
|And that throws me right off my pace.
Watch my tachometer needle and you can see the revs drop off when I'm forced to get out of the throttle to avoid hitting Landon as he crosses in front of me.
|This is actually boosting my confidence.
It could be that he's just experimenting with different lines in an attempt to find a way past Trent, but Landon appears to be getting frustrated by Trent holding him up.
From my point of view it looks like Landon is cracking. His driving is getting increasingly ragged, and as a result he's noticeably slower at several spots around the track.
|If Landon runs this wonky line again in the Esses, it just might give me
the opening I'm looking for...