you SHOULD be able to beat him. I whopped a (early 2000) cavalier like 2 months after I got my ZX3. Just a fart can on the crapalier.
and also, you take like Collin McRae, give him an 05 Focus ZX3 Auto, and give you an 05 Focus ZX3 auto, i bet you he will kick your ass. Like someone said, the skill of the driver is an important assest to racing as well.