When we start driving on the track, we’re typically instructed to look through the corner—often as far ahead as possible. This helps to straighten our lines, heighten our situational awareness, and remain calmer in the car. However, a far-reaching gaze cannot always prevent us from close shaves with less-experienced drivers. Such was the case with this incident between Jeremy Croiset and another driver during a Honda Challenge race at Buttonwillow.
From the start, it’s obvious he’s on a committed lap. He’s constantly managing his very loose Honda CRX, which he hurls into Buttonwillow’s quicker corners with great accuracy. Watch how the car rotates into Bus Stop (0:02) with serious speed; the rear sliding perfectly into a beautiful zero-steer. With a fully prepped CRX, this isn’t as challenging as one might think.
As Agile as Any
His ’91 CRX Si is fitted with a B16 motor, which makes roughly 170 horsepower at the front wheels. That engine, controlled by an AEM Infinity management system, sends its power through an Integra Type R’s gearbox. Fortunately, a car this light and agile doesn’t require much power, nor does it need to slow much. Croiset can hurl it into corners, countersteer, let the MCS shocks settle the car, then mat his right foot to plant the rear. Unfortunately, the lack of power also means he can’t rely on grunt to get him out of a jam.
A Committed Charge
Leading up to this incident, Croiset couldn’t afford to leave anything on the table. “It was the second lap of the race, and I was in the lead in front of my friend Renan Bayer. He was right on my tail and I didn’t want to give him an opportunity to get by,” he adds.
Precision and a patient throttle application are necessary through Riverside (0:06)—especially in something which drives the front wheels. Croiset’s stabs at the throttle are measured, but you get the sense that he’s desperately trying to plant his right foot; having only 170 horsepower at his disposal means he has to keep the engine screaming. With the adrenaline coursing through his veins, Croiset fires towards the kink preceding the famous Phil Hill corner.
Upon approach, it seems that the driver ahead—likely the one who spat up that cloud of dirt a few corners prior—decides to leave the door open. But instead of giving Croiset a clear run through the corner, he turns in and chops across the nose of the CRX—then just a length behind. At that moment, Croiset’s ticker might’ve skipped several beats.