Location: Berthoud Pass, Colorado
Conditions: Changing - dry at the bottom, snow packed at the top.
Me: Neon SE!
OK, These guys oughta be ashamed of themselves. Especially the WRX driver. My car was in the shop for some work and I had a rental Neon SE. I was going skiing. Berthoud Pass is a fairly fast but twisty mountain road, with two lanes going up and one lane coming down. There are several 180 deg turns, but they're not hairpins - maybe 50mph in the dry. About 10k feet at the base, 12,500 at the top. The road was mostly dry at the bottom, but gradually changed to fully snow packed at the top, with areas of wet pavement, slush, etc. on the way. PERFECT WRX conditions. PERFECT. Conditions where the WRX is one of the worlds fastest street cars.
At the bottom of the pass I was in a line of cars before the passing lane started. I was behind a white WRX Wagon and in front of a blue Audi A4 Avant (Avant = Wagon). We're behind three other cars. SUVs IIRC. The passing lane starts just about a mile up and continues all the way to the top. 5 or 6 miles. We get to the passing lane where it starts on probably the longest straight of the whole mountain. The three vehicles in the front pull to the right and the WRX rockets away up the mountain. The Audi is riding my butt and I pull to the right to let him by as soon as I clear the other vehicles. He passes me, but the Neon holds its ground OK.
In to the twisty parts I draw the Audi closer and as we come around a corner before the first 180 deg bend I see that we're gaining on the WRX in a BIG hurry. I get the inside lane as the Audi takes the outside, and I pick him off under braking. By now we're pretty close to the WRX. But again, once we're out of the corner, the WRX rockets away up a long steep section with very gentle bends. I have just enough ground to hold off the Audi before the road gets twistier again.
A couple of tighter turns and the WRX is in view again, approaching a slower 180 deg bend. The WRX damn near stops, and I'm beside him on the outside as we enter the corner. My momentum gets me ahead, but I can't get a gap because I have a lot further to go around the outside. As we exit the corner (a right hander) the WRX shoots by me and cuts across my bow into the following left ( ) but I'm right on his tail. He goes back to the inside for the next right, allowing me to get beside him. That gives me the inside for the following 180 deg left, and that's it. I pass him easily under braking with the Audi following me through (he must have been entertained with his front-row seat!) in the corner. Through the next series of twisties, the WRX disappears from rear-view altogether. The Audi is quicker and lurks in the rear-view for awhile, but by the time I'm over the top he's gone too.
Going down the other side I didn't have a passing lane (uphill on the other side does) but have clear sailing half way down until I get stuck behind three snow plows doing 20-25 mph. The Audi catches up pretty quickly, but the WRX was so thoroughly blown off we never did see him again.
Then I went skiing with 8 inches of fresh powder! I love those mountains.