|Hiroki, in the silver Festiva, has already pulled out a big gap.
Meanwhile I'm still stuck behind this green Colt. Watch on the video how the Colt enters this corner in a nice slide. But the moment he gets back on the throttle, the FWD car loses traction on the front wheels, the nose washes out of the turn, and he runs way wide onto the loose snow and slippery ice on the outside of this turn.
|There's no traction to be found over there on the right where the
Colt is now.
This lets me run right up tight to his rear bumper, but I'm not confident enough to try passing him yet. He's kinda zig-zagging around and I'm never certain which way he's going to go.
Maybe I can get him in the S-bend.
|The Colt is taking a line much more like mine than Hiroki's into the S-bend. I don't think I'll have any advantage over him here.|
|Ah, that's why. The Colt was taking a decidely non-fwd line through this S-bend only because he's trying to get around this slower Toyota.|
|I was worried the Toyota might slot in between me and the green Colt, but the Toyota stays well over to the right and lets me past without a fight.|
|Here's the white-knuckle moment!
Again the green Colt employs this HUGELY sideways approach into a corner. It doesn't scare me quite as much this time as it did the first time, when he did this move on the opening lap. But, if he actually spins out in front of me, I will surely hit him this time.
Between the Toyota on my right, the snowbank on my left, and this guy spinning out in front of me, I'm completely boxed in with nowhere to go.
|Okay. Now I truly AM scared!!!
I was already worried that he's going to spin out in front me, then he goes and hooks the nose of his car into the snowbank!!!
Surely that will drag him right around backwards.
|But that's not how it works with front-wheel-drive.
He only needs to add a bit of throttle and, presto hey-badda-boom- badda-bing, he's understeering deep off-line again and the Colt plows away to the outside of the corner.
FWD is ugly.
|I cut inside of him on the left-hander, but he's still beside me
going into the right-hander.
I really don't trust this guy very much, so I ease off to leave him lots of room.
|Running past the start/finish line, the Colt receives a blue
flag signal from the flagger.
There's really no risk of me passing him here, or on the following straight. But it's nice for me to get an acknowledgement like this from the flaggers who have seen that the Colt is holding me up.
He's under no obligation to let me pass or to make it any easier for me to pass. The blue flag is merely a signal that someone is following closely. Still, the blue flag helps me because it adds some psychological pressure on the guy driving the Colt.
|Up ahead, the yellow Nissan Pulsar of Ken Staples comes rocketing
out of the pit exit.
He either had some mechanical difficulty, or he was asked to stop for a quick chat with Hal and Uve...
More likely, Ken was already so far ahead that he had enough time to pull into the pits for a quick hot dog and coffee at the concession stand.
|My underpowered Chevette is no danger to the Colt on the straights.
He has way more power and better traction and uses both to his advantage to pull away from me on this long straight.
But all that extra acceleration is wasted if you forget to slow down for the next corner...
|The Colt slides deep and wide at the hairpin, and I tuck my slow
tortoise Chevette in tight to the apex and pass him easily. I love
it when that happens.
His superior acceleration does him no good from here, because he's away to my right side which leaves him on the outside as well for the next slippery left hand corner. I know I'm quicker through the twisty bits after that, so he'll never get close enough to catch me on any straights again.