Ice Race Report
& 27th, 2002
(Story and photography - Scott Miller)
|Finally, the first
weekend of racing happened!
It will go down in history as one of the most anxiously anticipated race weekends ever after suffering through the two prior weekend cancellations due to unusually warm and wet weather. I arrived Friday as one of only about ten other cars in attendance. It would not be until Saturday that I would see the arrival of what I would guess as about 75% of last years attendance.
As a result of an incident Friday
afternoon in the pits, there was an extra long driver's
meeting Saturday morning. It looked like already Mavis
had her hands full. After everyone was briefed on
"the incident", in which a neighbour to the
track had called the police to report someone
"exposing themselves", the drivers were
entertained with a lecture from Constable (?), from the
Haliburton O.P.P. detachment, (or is that the
"entire" Haliburton O.P.P. detachment?) on
the law regarding indecent exposure. You will have to dig
elsewhere for the details on the "incident" of
"indecent exposure" as I don't want to skew the
facts or incriminate anyone. (it wasn't me!) By the way,
the aledged's opinion is that "it", is not
"indecent" at all :) I also noticed a sudden
flourish of new warning signs sprouting up at the track
this year, one notifying us that there would be regular
O.P.P. police patrols of the paddock during the races. I
suppose next we'll be handed speeding tickets on track...
this is beginning to get out of hand. Has no one learned
from history! More legalism means more lawyers, more
lawyers means less fun and the eventual collapse of any
society - or in this case ice racing!!! If more common
sense were excercised there would be no need, but then I
am beginning to believe the "common sense gene"
drowned in the gene pool.
Any way, by the time the driver meeting was over and the qualifying started it was close to 10 am!
I neglected to pick up any results (sorry) but ewe can probably find them on the http://www.CASC.on.ca site. (Also, I am not 100% on some of my lower finishes quoted below)
Track Conditions/ Weather:
The track was very smooth and virgin and with temps. below zero things looked very good first thing Saturday morning but this was not to last long.
Thank goodness stud cars were allowed to go out for a short practice as the track otherwise would have been very slow. The track actually picked up traction during the first race Sat and was very fast and great fun to drive. Race length was shortened to 8 laps each race to preserve the track.
My first race of the day Sat. , after lunch, was uneventful and saw me drop from third start to a fourth place finish while driving too conservatively on a track that had started to melt but was very fast and that actually provided more grip as the race progressed, something I have never experienced before.
The SACond race Sat. was looking very promising for a good finish at about the halfway point, that is until the wipers quit working. In very warm, very sloppy track conditions, with the cars throwing buckets of slush on my windshield, all I could do was try to follow the "dark objects" ahead. I felt like Luke -"follow the force"- Skywalker. I finished 5th but not last and without being able to see where I was going - not bad.
At the end of racing Saturday I was ranked 9th overall.
The studs were allowed only one race on Sat. and then their entire weekend was cancelled and monies refunded. By the end of the day Sat. there was like 3 inches of slop on the track and a temp. of 6C. A number of large craters had opened up and were presenting themselves as obstacles to be avoided, some on the traditional racing lines.
I was at the track early and made the decision to lightly tractionize the brand new Blizzaks leaving as much block definition as possible to deal with the slop and slush. This turned out to be a wise decision that should have been pursued the day before as well.
Starting fifth in the first race Sun I had a fast and smoothly driven race to finish SACond not far behind Tom Prentice but ahead of Larry Kovaks! Larry and I traded a little paint and positions a couple of times to make for a most entertaining race! (See the "highlite" below for details)
The SACond race Sunday however had a heartsinker start. Starting SACond on the grid I got a really good start and was running with the rest until I went to shift into SACond gear... AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!...It wouldn't go into SACond! Not until halfway through the first turn was I able to coerce the sucker into SACond and by then I believe I was in last place. I am not sure how I finished but I think it was SACond last.
Me setting up, faking,
out-braking and passing Larry "the lounge
lizard" Kovaks into the last corner on the last lap
in the first race Sunday for a SACond place finish in
Keep praying for cold weather...