How track day probably saved my life

I don’t like open track days. I like the track. I just don’t like open track days, especially on weekends. As a newbie, roaring Subarus that cut in my line and Porsches that out-brake me into corners are too much for me to handle. Not to mention the raging track cars. It’s nothing like what I’ve read in the books. The books tell me about best theorized lines. They don’t tell you about the fanatics trying to shove you against the wall just to get an inch ahead.

I had no idea how to handle the repeated scares. I resorted to following the outer line — the slooooow line where no respectable track driver would ever tread — in order to stay alive.

And that probably helped me stay alive today.

On my way to work, there is a long, sweeping on-ramp to Cyberjaya. I was cruising on the left lane. I assure you, I wasn’t driving fast at all because I was recently inspired by Kenneth Chiew’s staggering fuel economy result in the Nissan Light Foot Contest. He drove 165km with just 1 liter of fuel. To see the how ridiculously efficient that is, normally 1 liter of fuel gets you 10km of mileage. In a hybrid car or a very efficient diesel, 1 liter may get you as far as 25km. If you have a car that deliver Kenneth Chiew-kind of efficiency, one tank of fuel will get you more than 6000km. You refuel once, and you drive for 6 months.

To honor Kenneth’s achievement, I heard Nissan is going to rename the Light Foot Contest to “Kenneth’s Right Foot Contest”. Quite righteously so. In fact, I think all research on alternative energy, be it hybrid, electric, hydrogen, ethanol or solar, can cease immediately. Just invest that billions of dollars on studying Kenneth’s right foot. His right foot alone is going to clear global pollution, mitigate global warming and rectify climate change. We’d better make a wax replicas of it now and feature them in wax museums. Kenneth’s right foot alone is going to bankrupt the Middle East. They are probably already sending visitors with bombs strapped around their waists. Another reason to expedite the research on Kenneth’s right foot.

So over the past few days, I had been on my personal light foot quest. I was on the left lane when I entered the on-ramp. A blue MPV was on the right. Without signal, it steered left. I wasn’t in his/her blind spot, but somehow he/she just didn’t see me and kept coming. I steered onto the quarter-car-width emergency lane, inches away from the concrete barriers. And of course, I honked the living day light out of the dozing moron. Then he/she steered away abruptly and almost banged the concrete on other side.

I think what’s marvelous is the fact that I didn’t feel a wee bit of panic. Compared to the raging cars on track, everything happened in slow motion with the MPV. Moreover, the MPV driver was in self-preservation mode, whereas the track drivers were in annihilation mode. The MPV was more predictable. Having a cool mind allowed to make the steering adjustment needed to avoid the collision.

But hmmm, in retrospect, why didn’t I just brake, huh? Ahh, braking would slow me down. Then I’d have to waste more fuel to pick up speed again. I was on a Kenneth Chiew-inspired right/light foot quest.

 

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