Tuesday, September 05, 2006

So what happened at Cadwell then?

For the simple answer, check this video.

Now for some reflections...

It's often said that "a race is not won or lost in the first corner". That's undoubtedly true. However, it's also true that when there's a line of people queuing-up for the first corner, should you take a creative line through, you can sometimes overtake four or five people. Overtaking that number of people later in the race is likely to take as many laps to achieve. It can be the difference between making it to the rear of the front pack in the first lap, and seeing the front pack disappear as you make your way through the midfield in the first few laps.

For people who qualify well, this probably doesn't matter. But I rarely do, so I'm always keen to take maximum advantage of opportunities early in the race.

Hence it was that when I saw a spinner at Coppice, my thoughts were along the lines of "great, that will have slowed down the people on his side of the track, we can get through on the left and get a clean getaway".

Sadly, it wasn't to be. The guy in front of me (and it was so long ago I've forgotten who he was) obviously had a better sense of self-preservation than me, and braked much harder than I expected as he approached the incident. Not being prepared for this, I had to swerve to avoid hitting him in the rear.

At this point I got screwed by my bike racing past. I could easily have swerved left onto the grass to miss him. But on a bike, you touch the grass and you're down - or worse you keep going totally out of control until you hit the tyre wall. So all my instincts told me the grass was out of bounds - and I swerved right - hitting Charlie and Jamie and eventually causing the carnage you can see on the video.

There were lots of recriminations and accusations of "Supers being crazy" after this. I kept my head down. Was it all my fault? No. Was I a factor in the crash? Certainly.

Charlie's car was a real mess. He got hit front and rear, and it did a huge amount of damage. Jamie's wasn't that much better. In the circumstances, I got away quite lightly. My chassis was badly bent at the front, but it hadn't trashed too much else.

No comments: