|We're halfway through the second lap, exiting the kink on the back straight.
You can't see it in this photo, but watch on the video at this point for more evidence of how the track surface gets chewed up by the Studded Cars. Jim's Chevette takes a little hop and skip as it crosses the deep ruts that have been carved into the ice in this corner. In my rearview mirror you can see my helmet bounce when my car crosses the ruts.
|Ahead of us, Kevin Sakaluk dives down the inside of Trent's car and
finally forces a pass.
Under braking, Jim drifts his car nicely right up to the apex of the left turn at the end of the back straight.
Following in his tracks, I experience a moment of understeer as the nose of my car falls off the slope at the apex on the off-camber slope at the inside edge of the track.
|Rounding the second left turn, the order is now Chris, Landon, Kevin, Trent, Jim, and me still in 6th.|
|Onto the finish straight to end the second lap, there's still no
sign of me getting any further up the field.
This isn't good. It's time to do something.
|Approaching the finish line I pull way over to the right in an
attempt to distract Jim.
If I can convince him that I'm trying to pass him here, maybe I can draw him into making an error.
|But Jim is having none of that. He sticks to his normal line and
completely ignores me, or maybe he didn't even see me.
Before reaching the braking area, I move back into line on the left before Colin, behind me, has a chance to squeeze me out.
And then Jim does make a small mistake by braking and turning in a bit too early...
|Watch on the video, as Jim brakes, the car takes its
usual tail-out stance sliding into the turn.
But because it was a bit too early, Jim has to get off the brakes earlier than he wanted, and the car straightens out again.
Instead of sliding up to the apex with the nose already pointed where he wants the car to go after, the car instead reaches that nasty off-camber slope at a shallow approach angle, with the nose still pointing too much off to the left...
|... causing it to bounce off that sloped surface, and spear away to the left side of the track.|
|I held the drift much deeper into the turn, then crossed the apex at a steeper angle, keeping well to the right on the exit.|
|Jim was still getting his car turned to the right as I, accelerating
in a straighter path, shot up alongside.
From here I have a much wider approach and better momentum into the critical turn leading onto the long straight, whereas Jim will be forced into pinching his turn tighter to avoid hitting me.
|Sliding side-by-side and door-handle-to-door-handle, I was a little
worried about running out of 2nd gear halfway around this corner, so I
shifted up early into 3rd gear.
That was probably a good thing because, starting onto the third lap, this corner is already developing a very slick line and it's easier to control the wheel spin in 3rd gear.
|It turns out 2nd gear would have been fine. There is lots of
grip available after the turn, and the engine bogs badly in 3rd
gear. So it's back down to 2nd for a bit and then everything's
Far up ahead, with a lead of nearly the whole front straight, Chris and Landon have already turned into the hairpin...