Photo Credit: Larry Chen
Here is what happened from my perspective. It obviously was an Insane situation for both Fredric and myself. From inside the car here is what I saw and feel happened.
I initiated along with Fredric, then all of a sudden the rear of his car was coming back towards me rather than maintaining the angle we both initially tossed out. I tried to adjust to not hit him and that adjustment pulled me out of drift because my wheels were counter steered when the car gripped up we made contact. Once contact was made and I jumped his hood the car landed with some momentum. I then kicked the clutch and stayed in it completing the course.
From the video it is clear Fredric “double initiated” and in that split second you can see of the video of his car straightening back up before he really flicks it out.When I say the “rear of his car was coming back at me” that is when that happened.
Its not that I was not expecting him to initiate early at all. You can clearly see I followed his lead when he initiated. Aasbo is not hard to sync with because how he clearly does a big weight transfer prior to initiation.
After the run Frederic and I laughed and talked about it on grid. He admitted his misjudged the course and went in too slow and entered a bit early and apologized to me.
I completely understand the challenge that was ahead of him leading first as the grip was very inconsistent given the on and off rain. 3 options would have happened given the scenario and no way to test the track due to FD rules. It could have been to slick and he could have landed in the kitty litter or he could have guessed perfect OR what happened could have happened (coming up short). He chose the safest smartest route and the significant grip the track still had caught him out and then me because I was doing my job which is to follow the lead car. Bottom line is that he misjudged the grip levels out there and led us in too slow and initiated to early, which is why he had to toss it twice to get it in drift. I did everything I could to avoid contact initially which actually backfired a bit as everyone has seen. When the contact passed and the car was still moving I stayed in it and completed the course.
I did not break his car like everyone assumes and in fact nothing happened that I am aware of (besides some panel damage) and his toe alignment which he fixed. Mine was out about 1 inch but we chose to not fix it and save our 5 minute ruling. He blew his 3rd gear on his chase run and that is why he got a 0 on the second half of it putting us into a one more time battle which I clearly won.
I have huge respect for Fredric and his team. They could have taken the easy way out and just said they couldn’t fix the car, but instead they wanted to battle it out.
I am pretty surprised that we both were able to hold it together and complete the course. I am also impressed that Fredric and I didn’t even seem to miss a beat and continued the battle! Just goes to show the commitment we both have out there!