Michael Gardner seems to get himself stuck behind slower traffic often. Perhaps it’s due to the width of Toronto Motorsports Park, which looks more like a karting track than a circuit designed for full-sized machines. Perhaps it’s due to the variance in experience, grip, and power. Gardner’s 350Z makes a strong 300+ horsepower, and with a slew of interesting suspension modifications, it can rotate quite quickly for a ~3,100-pound machine.
A square setup with 275-section front tires, as well as a decent differential, help the car turn into the corner and exit neatly, and in some sections, he’s able to match the performance of a tuned S2000—a car far more agile, fundamentally speaking. However, the power advantage over the Honda helped Gardner by (come the course’s long front straight). So, what happens when he’s caught behind a stock Corvette Z06, which has the same advantage and disadvantage over the Nissan which the Nissan held over the Honda?
Well, it’s not exactly a fair comparison since the Chevy is nowhere near the limit. Even when Gardner gets a decent run, the Corvette’s 7.0-liter LS7 can help stretch a lead once again. It’s only after a frustrating, processional lap that Gardner is able to sneak by; braking a hair later after the ‘Vette at the end of the straightaway. Even though he’s not given a point-by, his driving ability finally helps him pass in an area of the track where there’s plenty of room and a real difference in relative performances.
Nevertheless, this video demonstrates the right sort of conduct for something that will inevitably happen to any frequenter of track days. Rather than lose one’s cool, or dive for whatever opening occurs, holding back and waiting for a clear and safe place to pass is the sensible approach. Perhaps the Corvette’s driver was under the impression he was on-par with Gardner, and that could prompt him to defend aggressively when the door is open and cause a crash. After all, nobody wins practice.