2002 Western Canadian Ice-Race Championship

Chevette Race #3

(Clearing a Hurdle)

Sunday, March 3, 2002


  #21 #20 #19 #18 #17 #16 #15 #14 #13 #12 #11 #10 #9 #8 #7 #6 #5 #4 #1 #24 #23 #22 #3 #2
Track Layout Track Layout
Track Layout
Track Layout

 
Back to Map 01 I'm a bit quicker than Landon this time down the long straight, so I take a little look down the inside leading into the hairpin.

I really don't expect to be able to outbrake Landon into the hairpin.  But by making it look like I'm thinking about it, I might be lucky enough to distract him into making a mistake.

Hoping that I've pushed him deep enough to overshoot the corner, I back off early and swing right to set up a wide approach.

Back to Map 02 But Landon ignores me completely and runs his usual line into the hairpin, hard on the heels of Trent.

This time it's Landon who is surprised when Trent is slow leaving the hairpin.  But idiot that I am, I'm too close to Landon to profit from it.

I have to swing a bit wider out to the right again to avoid the rear corner of Landon's car.

Back to Map 03 My wider exit line is no good and I lose a bit of ground to Landon here.

Trent's slower exit allows him to hook onto the better traction available on the inside of the turn.  Although both Landon and I were surprised at how slowly Trent leaves the hairpin, his line does give him good acceleration onto the straight.

Net, I'd say we're pretty much equal here though, with me coming off slightly worst of the three of us.

Back to Map 04 Note how we three are each taking a different line as we turn left into the Kink.

I'm starting out wide, then trying as much as possible to follow a straight line across the slippery ice through the left/right Kink.

Trent turned in a bit early and is now approaching the left turn from the left edge of the track, right on the slippery ice surface.  For sure he is going to drift wide to the right.

Landon demonstrates why it is that he so often comes up as the Champion.  He rides the snowy berm deep into the turn, staying altogether outside of the slippery ice surface.

Back to Map 05 Despite the fact that Trent is dangerously close to sliding off to the right, Landon doesn't hesitate to simply drive around him.

ON THE OUTSIDE!!!

I bet that surprised the hell out of Trent.

Back to Map 06 Landon really does have nerves of steel.  That was an astounding passing maneouvre.  But again, he is putting his fate completely into the hands of someone else, trusting Trent not to hit him.  If Trent hadn't backed off, there almost certainly would have been a collision at this particularly dangerous spot on the track.

It's a very narrow line that separates a gutsy passing move deserving of praise, from a reckless suicidal move that's just plain stupid.  Landon has the unflinching confidence to repeatedly pull off passes like this, but I can't help thinking he's nuts to take such risks.

In any case, it's bad news for me.  My plan for this race was to stay ahead of Landon.  Not only am I still down in 6th place, but Landon has just moved up to 4th, and now I've got Trent in the way separating me from Landon.

This is definitely not a good development.

Back to Map 07 The momentum of Landon's bonzai charge into the Kink now carries him way off to the extreme left edge of the track on the exit of the Kink.

It looks like he even kisses the outside snowbank, kicking up a rooster tail of snow.

But he hangs onto it and stays ahead of Trent.

Back to Map 08 Into the left turn at the end of the back straight, Landon again rides the berm outside of the slippery surface.

Trent in front of me is hanging left, defending the inside line, to keep me from sticking my nose in there.

I should follow Landon's example and simply drive around the outside of Trent into this turn.  But I'm reluctant to try that as Trent is on the really slippery surface, and I don't trust his ability to keep his car from sliding over to the right and hitting me.

Back to Map 09 Although this is Trent's first season, Landon and Trent have been racing against each other all season long already.  I'm only out for this one weekend and I don't know Trent well enough to trust him yet.

It turns out that there would have been enough room for me to go around the outside.  But it's too late to do anything about it now because, while he is holding his car to the left, the rear end of Trent's car swings way out into my line.  I have to get out of the throttle to slow up.  I could haved swerved to the right to get around him, but changing my line in mid-corner would have cost me even more time.

Back to Map 10 Finally free of Trent, Landon is giving it all he's got to pull away from us and hopefully catch up to Kevin Sakaluk.

Meanwhile, Trent is still running his defensive line to cover the inside of the corner.

It is very frustrating for me.  When he enters the corner from such a tight angle, especially on the slippery portion of the track, Trent has to be very slow in order to avoid sliding wide of the apex.

I'm still hoping he will slide wide.

Back to Map 11 But Trent goes slow enough around the corner and manages to stay left on the exit to grab the better traction available there.

In the process he very effectively bottles me up.  Trent's defensive line is definitely slower than my line through the corner.  But right at the apex where I'm quicker, I'm forced to slow up to avoid hitting him.  Then we're on equal traction and acceleration and there's nothing I can do about it.

As we approach the right turn into the Esses, Landon and I both stay deep wide to the left, whereas Trent again crowds right to cover the inside.

Back to Map 12 In the Esses Landon runs a similar line to the one he used on the previous lap.  On the right turn he cut over the slippery stuff way over here to the right to catch the snowy traction.  Then he swings sharp left to cross over the slippery line again, exiting the left turn tight up against the left snowbank.

Trent is pretty much following the classic racing line, which at this late stage of the race has become buffed smooth and is very slippery.

I'm hoping to get a better launch from here than Trent, then pass him on the right side as we leave this corner.

Back to Map 13 Except, as I cross over the slippery stuff, I suddenly realise that this spot is extremely slippery and there's almost zero grip available here.

At the moment I'm still trying to accelerate in second gear. Check the rpm showing on the tach.

To keep the tires hooked up as much as possible, I shift up to third gear to limit the torque going to the rear wheels.

Back to Map 14 Safe in third gear, it's easier to control wheel spin to keep the tires hooked up with what little traction is available.  Check the tach now showing much lower engine revs in this higher gear.

I'm still gaining ground on Trent.  But then I'm startled to discover that there is fabulously superior traction available over here on the right side of the track.

Note to self:
     Must remember to use this traction spot next time around...

In fact, there's so much traction that third gear is now completely wrong and the engine bogs down at these low revs, forcing me to shift back down to second gear.

Back to Map 15 But, in the time it takes to make the shift back to second gear, I lose what little momentum advantage I had over Trent.

And there's more bad news.

The flagman at the finish line is holding up the board indicating that we're starting the last lap.

Damn.  Time is running out.  It's now or never...

Back to Map 16 Crossing the finish line and turning right, Landon and I both stay wide to benefit from the traction on the snow, then cut across the dark ice line to grab the traction on the inside at the exit of the turn.

Trent again holds the inside, even though it means entering the corner on the slippery ice surface.

I'm still hoping he will slide wide somewhere so I can cross behind him and get alongside.

Back to Map 17 And this time Trent does run wide!

He realises his error and tries to pull back to the right.  But that just makes his car swing further into a slide and scrub off even more speed.

It's the perfect opportunity for me.

Back to Map 18 I've got him now.  He's still a bit ahead of me on the left, but I have the better track position for the upcoming left turn onto the long straight.

I'm on the good traction with a wider approach into the left turn.  He's on the slippery ice and approaching the turn too tight on the left.

But I'm not at all sure whether it's safe to stay outside Trent around this scary corner.  I nearly rolled my car here earlier in a stupid moment during Rubber Race#2.  See A Dumb Mistake.  And I'm not as confident as Landon in putting my trust into other people.

To be safe I decide to cross behind him again, and wait for him to slide away to the right.

Back to Map 19 But this time Trent does not slide as wide.  Instead he slows right up in order to stay left on the exit.

My lane gets a bit tight at this point, but I stick my nose in there anyway.

Back to Map 20 I look over at Trent, thinking that was rather a borderline move to pinch me like that.

Had he concentrated on following Landon's line and accelerated hard onto the straight, I might not have been able to pass him at all.  Instead Trent used a slow defensive line in an attempt to hold me back.

I passed him anyway, thereby successfully clearing that hurdle.

But Jeez, look at how much ground I've already lost to Landon!

Back to Map 21 With less than a lap remaining in this race, Landon has a lead of nearly half the length of the straightaway.

I'll need a miracle to catch him now.

Back to Map 22 I wait as late as I can into the hairpin before jumping on the brakes, hard.

In the mpeg video you can hear the front tires lock up briefly.

Back to Map 23 Then, pitch the car fully sideways into the turn.

In the video you can hear one of the front tires rubbing on the inner fender liner as the steering reaches all the way over to full lock.

Back to Map 24 I screwed up my lines through this hairpin far too often all weekend long.  But this time around I think I nailed it perfectly.

Just like that, Landon's huge lead shrinks down to only a few car lengths.

Chevette Race 3 (Clearing a Hurdle) - ASF format
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Chevette Race 3 (Clearing a Hurdle) - MPG format
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Clearing a Hurdle

 
Up next, The Miracle.

 
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