2001 Western Canadian Ice-Race Championship

Lap 2 of Relay Race - A Wild Lap

Sunday, March 4, 2001

The first lap of the Relay Race had me in a collision with #15.

On the second lap I try again...

#14 #13 #12 #11 #10 #9 #8 #7 #6 #5 #4 #3 #2 #1
Track Layout Track Layout
Track Layout
Track Layout

Back to Map 01 On the long straightaway the #15 Chevette pulls just a bit stronger than mine.  I cannot make up any ground at all in a straight line.

But I'm still convinced I'm quicker than he is in the corners.

Back to Map 02 Let's run this play...Braking into the hairpin, he again turns in early and too fast.  As a consequence, he will again slide deep and exit slowly.

There's no point in me following his line.  So I try an exaggerated approach of slow in, fast out, hoping to beat #15 under acceleration onto the following straight.

I couldn't afford to leave the door open this wide if anyone else was chasing me.  They would simply dive down the inside and steal my line from me.  I have the luxury of choosing this option only because I'm already dead last with nothing to lose.  I do take a quick look anyway in my side mirror before turning in to ensure I'm not cutting anyone off.

Back to Map 03 Studying a still photograph from this point of view, it really appears as though he's way ahead of me and I have no chance whatsoever of catching him, let alone passing him.

But on the video you can see and hear that I already have my car turned around and accelerating, whereas #15 is still trying to slow down enough to make the corner without sliding into the far snowbank.

Back to Map 04 Before reaching the apex marker on the left, I'll already be up into second gear and building even more speed while, off to my right, #15 will only just be starting to accelerate.
Back to Map 05 Heading onto the straight, he's still beside me on the right.  But I already have a lot more speed on than he does and, more importantly, I'm on the inside line for the upcoming left hand turn.

Cool!  I'm a genius.

Back to Map 06      Holy SHiT!!!

Where did HE come from!?!

Only a lap and a half into the start of this Relay Race, and one of the fastest Studded Class cars goes scorching past to put me a lap down (already).

God those cars are QUICK!

Back to Map 07 I watch in fascination as the Datsun, taking a completely different line than I would normally follow, screams at full throttle into the left/right chicane.

I still have the #15 Chevette somewhere behind me on the right, and I'm so mesmerised by the Datsun's astronomical speed that I actually do take a completely different line than I would normally follow.

Consequently, while turning left into the chicane, I completely screw up the corner and damn near fall off the track!

Back to Map 08 #15 would surely have passed me back, right there and then, if not for the fortuitous (for me) display of a yellow flag in this corner brought out by the unfortunate (for him) spin of another Chevette up ahead.

That must have been a nerve wracking experience, spinning and stopping broadside in front of that Datsun, which is doing nearly 3,000 km/h at that point on the track!

Luckily the track is wide and the Studded Cars have plenty of traction allowing them to drive pretty well anywhere they like.  So the Datsun, throwing a huge rooster tail of snow, easily avoids the spinning Chevette.

Back to Map 09 But I'm faced with a dilemma.

I'm not really certain yet which way that Chevette will go after recovering from the spin.  I would prefer to follow my usual line along the right snow bank, which would have me passing him on the right.

If he moves any further to the right though, he will pinch me into the snowbank and I'll have nowhere to go.  I'm only travelling at half the speed that the Datsun, on studded tires, was doing.  Nonetheless even my modest closing speed on the nearly stationary Chevette is dangerously fast.

Should I go right, or left?  Left or right?  Right or left?...

Back to Map 10 When in doubt, it's best not to take unnecessary risks.

I went left because there is all sorts of room over here for evasive manoeuvres, should any be required.

It turns out none were necessary because the other driver did exactly the correct thing and held a steady course on a safely predictable straight line.

Had I known for certain that he would do that, I would have passed him on the right.  As it was, I took the safe but longer way around the left side.

Of course the #15 Chevette behind me chose the shorter distance, and passed the slow car on the right.  Partially because of that, but mostly because of how badly I screwed up the previous corner, #15 now closes right onto my rear bumper.

Back to Map 11 Approaching the end of the straight, Ken Staples' Nissan Pulsar (now on Studded Tires) comes whistling past me.

Look at the way that car decelerates as he stands on the brakes!

With the phenomenal grip available from studded tires it almost looks like the rear of the car comes right off the ice under braking.

Another Datsun Studded car is hot on his tail, so I stay well over to the right so as not to get in their way...

Back to Map 12 ...and I promptly overshoot the corner by a mile.

Some genius, ha.  I'm a complete idiot.

Mixing it up like this with the faster cars is quite distracting.  I can see how this is going to take some practice before I can learn to ignore them, without actually getting in their way.

I'm way off line over here and the ice is incredibly slippery.  The only consolation is that #15 followed me straight in and now he's scrambling for grip too.  But he recovers first and starts creeping past me on the left.

Up ahead, the orange #8 of Kevin Sakaluk is having some sort of problem as well.  He's crawling along very slowly.

Back to Map 13 The slow orange #8 is moving into my path from the right while #15 is squeezing me from the left.

This is going to be tight!

Yikes.  Three abreast, we jam into the final turn leading to the finish line.

Back to Map 14 #15 has the inside going into the left hander, and he's fully committed to making this pass.

I've made a mess of the previous corners and really don't deserve to be holding him up, so I make no attempt to block the pass.

I admit to hoping he would slide straight off to the right.  But he hung onto it and completed the pass.

So that's two full laps finished already, and I'm still behind #15.  I finally get him on the next lap...

ASF format
ASF format
Here is the video clip;
Relay1b.asf (1.0M)
Next, one full lap of Chasing Down #15...

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