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Ottawa Sun

  During the week, Ferdinand Trauttmansdorff works for Transport Canada and learns what happens to cars when they run into walls at 50 kilometres an hour.
  On weekends he gets his kicks by driving a lot faster, while trying to avoid his racing car competitors on icy tracks.
  "I guess I have an appreciation for what happens when a car does run into walls," said the 31-year-old Nepean driver, after dominating the 1989 Daquin Ottawa Valley Ice Racing Series opener yesterday.
  Before some 2,500 spectators on the Ottawa River track in Aylmer, he started the season as he finished it last year -- as the Motorsport Club of Ottawa (MCO) overall points leader.

  And he's doing it with the same 1978 Datsun which he bought for $100 three years ago.
  "Things look promising," said Trauttmansdorff after winning the rear-wheel drive (RWD) class in three of four races.
  "It was a really nice wide track.  There was lots of room for passing," he said of the kilometre-long track.
  The first two races featured cars in rubber-to-ice tires, the same kind we use when driving to work.
  The last two races featured studded tires, which allowed the drivers to reach 100 km/h down the longer straightaway.
  In the first race, Trauttmansdorff jockeyed for the lead with Lance Gardiner of Ottawa, Bennett Leckie of Nepean, and Nigel Mortimer of Stittsville.
  Mortimer, in a front-wheel drive (FWD),
took the lead, going by on the inside on the fifth lap.  But Trauttmansdorff got the lead back for good on lap 12.
  In race two, he won again, as Gardiner, in a Datsun, finished second again.
  "It was fun, but I just made too many mistakes," admitted Gardiner.
  Then it was on to two studded-tire races in RWD 'B' Class, as Dan Rolfe of Gloucester won the first encounter and Trauttmansdorff captured the other.
  "I felt smooth," said Trauttmansdorff after his three-victory day.
  "One of MCO's traditionally top studded-tire ice drivers is Paul Swinwood of Ottawa, who posted two easy victories with his 1981 Dodge Charger in the FWD 'A' Class.
  "I've never been the MCO champion.  I've just had lots of fun," said Swinwood.

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