2002 Western Canadian Ice-Race Championship

Chevette Race #2

(Sloppy Start)

Saturday, March 2, 2002

The starting grid of Chevette Race #2 is determined from the finishing order of the first race, but inverting the top six places.  In Chevette Race #1, the top six finishers were Ferdinand #79 (that's me!), Jim Graham #78, Kevin Sakaluk #24, Trent Hamp #81, Landon Goudreau #31, and Steve Adams #92.

So this time Steve Adams starts up front, Landon Goudreau is 2nd, ..., and I'm down in 6th.  Another 10 cars are lined up behind me, 7th place finisher Chris Zuke and so on down to 16th.  Note there are only 16 cars starting this race, compared to 18 in the first race, as two cars have retired with mechanical problems.

I suspect that Landon will immediately pass Steve for the lead and leave the rest of us far behind.  If Landon goes on to win, he will have scored a 5th and 1st place.  Since I lucked into a win in the first race, I only need to finish 5th or better now to at least stay tied with Landon.  That's my goal for this race.

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

Back to Map 01 We're all watching and waiting for the flagman.

Ahead of me is Jim Graham (Red #78), Kevin Sakaluk (Blue/Red #24), Trent Hamp (Grey #81), Landon Goudreau (Yellow #31), and Steve Adams (Dark Blue #92).

Back to Map 02 The flag drops and we're off.

Everybody crowds to the inside, hoping to gain an advantage into the hairpin at the end of this straight.

But everyone in this lead group of six cars seems to be pretty much evenly matched in acceleration.

Back to Map 03 As soon as we build up some speed the snow starts flying again and visibility drops.
Back to Map 04 Up here, near the front of the pack, I have the option of stepping out of line into the clear air where the visibility is fine.

But the guys behind me, further down the field, they won't be able to see anything at all.

Back to Map 05 As we reach the hairpin, I see that Landon (Yellow) up front has already made his move as he cuts inside Steve Adams to take away the lead.  Landon is in the clear now and will surely cruise away to disappear into the distance, leaving the rest of us to duke it out amongst ourselves.

I'm anxious because I haven't been able to pass anyone yet and I'm still down in 6th.  Jim (Red) is tight on Kevin's tail (Blue/Red), with Trent (Grey) squeezed out to the right.

I see an open lane ahead of me and I'm soooooooo tempted to dive down the inside and pass all three cars in one shot.  That would be sweet...

Back to Map 06 But it would have been a major bonehead mistake to try such an over-ambitious move.

I would probably have squarely T-boned Sakaluk's car as he turned into the corner ahead of me.

If I still squeeze in there now, Jim would need to leave me some room (assuming he even sees me!).

But Jim can't make any more space, even if he wanted, because he's boxed in tight by Trent Hamp just off to his right.

So it's a no-go situation.  If I force my nose in there any deeper, it will surely result in contact with Jim's car and it will be entirely my fault alone if I hit him.

Back to Map 07 To avoid hitting Jim, I practically have to come to a complete stop.

Even so, we came within a couple of millimetres of touching.

Back to Map 08 Here's another perfect illustration for you.

It's never how fast you go into the corner that counts.  It's how fast you come out of the corner that makes all the difference.

I was close enough to touch Jim's car in the corner, but now look how far ahead of me he already is!

Because I was impatient going into the corner, I screwed it up completely, lost all my momentum in the panic to avoid a collision, and am now left behind flat-footed and slow as everyone accelerates away from me.

Back to Map 09 Jim is up on the left beside Trent.  Even though they are accelerating evenly at the same pace, Trent will have to give ground when they turn left into the kink.

Because they are driving side-by-side ahead of me, I cannot find a way out of the slipstream of blowing snow and I'm blind once again.

Back to Map 10 I'm still kicking myself for being so stupid in the first corner.  But that's another dumb mistake right there.  If you screw up somewhere, you should forget it immediately and always fully concentrate on what's coming up next.

Had I been thinking ahead, instead of backwards, I might have correctly anticipated what was going to happen here, and had a plan ready.

Sure enough, Trent decides that he'd rather not run through the kink side-by-side with Jim, so he slows up to concede the position to Jim.  Because Trent slowed, I now have a speed advantage over him and I should have immediately swept past on the right.  But I wasn't paying enough attention at the time, so I hesitated instead.

Back to Map 11 And just like that, the opportunity is gone.

Trent moves over to take the proper line, and the door closes on that passing opportunity.

I should have just given up right there.  But I compound my mistake by instead trying to go around the outside of Trent on the right-hand portion of the kink.

Back to Map 12 Trent nails the inside apex of the turn perfectly, while I discover that the track is quite slick out here on the left.
Back to Map 13 Landon has already disappeared from view in the lead.  Kevin Sakaluk has made up two positions and is already up to 2nd.  Jim Graham has moved up one place to 4th...

And me?  I'm still in 6th.  The 5th place car is pulling away from me, and I'm making nothing but mistakes.

My confidence is taking a beating here.  Ouch...

Chevette Race 2 (Start) - ASF format
Chevette Race 2 (Start) - MPG format
Sloppy start.

Up next, more of Chevette Race #2 (Passing Trent).

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