'99 Western Canadian Ice-Race Championship

Day #2  -  Sunday, Feb. 14, 1999

Sunday Page 1 of 2 - A Clean Pass

Before we get to the rollover, let's first take a look at an overtaking manoeuvre that was successfully completed at the same section of track.

This pass took place during Sunday morning's first practice session.  On Sunday we ran the track in a clockwise direction, opposite to Saturday's races.  So it was necessary to relearn all the lines through the corners.
In the right/left/right section crossing the finish line, the critical corner was the last turn to the right (marked as #7 on this map).  In order to get a fast exit from this last corner, it was important to approach it from the left edge of the track surface.  But to get positioned there, you had to start setting up for it all the way back at the first right hander in the sequence (at #2).

Below is a series of 7 images, and a movie clip showing the pass.  The green numbers on the Lac La Biche circuit diagram indicate the location of the 7 images.

Track Layout

1 1 In the #79 Green Chevette, I was chasing the #13 Grey Chevette of Andy Normey.  Andy was the one who spun directly in front of me at the start of Saturday's first race.

As the two of us rounded the hairpin, we both passed a Yellow Chevette, splitting around each side of him, Andy ahead on the right, and me behind on the left.

2 2 From here, I figure I've already got Andy beat because he's approaching this corner much too tight along the right edge.  If we each continue at this speed, I expect him to slide wide and then I'll nip inside him on the right.

I prefer to exit this first right hander well to the right edge of the track anyway, so I can set up to similarly exit the following left hander on the left edge of the track.  That should leave me with an advantage going into the final right hander, which is really the only curve in this sequence that matters.

3 3 Except, Andy had me completely snookered.  He slowed right down, kept to the inside edge of the curve, and neatly stole my line.  In the video you can hear me briefly hesitate on the throttle, as I'm unsure of where to go next.

Note that Andy has not blocked me at all.  In fact he has taken great care to leave me lots of room on the left.

I was carrying more speed than he was at this point, so I was forced to either slow up and concede the corner, or to continue around him to the left.

I went left.  But in doing so, I had to admit that Andy very effectively reversed the tables on me.

4 4 I'm now approaching the tight left turn from completely the wrong side of the track.  And Andy in the Grey car is perfectly set up to cut across behind me after I overshoot this corner.

In the photo you can see the dark line of bare ice that marks the normal "racing line".  The Studded cars really chew up the ice along this line.

In the initial laps of any Rubber session, there is fantastic traction to found on that line.  However, after only four or five laps of being buffed by the Rubber cars, that surface becomes as smooth as glass and slick as snot.  Thereafter that line must be avoided like the plague.

If I get onto the dark ice surface from here, I'll certainly slide wide on the exit leaving the door open for Andy to pass me again.

5 5 But I've learned a new trick from Andy and now pull the same stunt on him. 

I get hard on the brakes, drop down a gear, and manage to slow enough to hug the inside of the curve and stay left of the dark line all the way around.

Now Andy is forced to change his line and he has to go around me to the right.

Note that I have also left him lots of room on the right, because that's where I want him to go.

6 6 I'm on a surface with better traction, whereas Andy now finds himself on the dark slick ice surface from where he cannot accelerate as well.

Plus I've got better track position for the critical right hand bend that's coming up next.

7 7 From here, I've got a good run down the next straight and there's nothing more Andy can do to catch me.

A Good Pass. This is an ASF file video clip (0.3 MB) of the passing sequence in the three corners.

The next page (page 2 of 2) shows another pass within the same corner sequence.  But this one ends with both cars over the snowbank and mine rolled onto its side...

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