What does a kid do on the last day of school?
For 12 year old Daniel Demaras, the answer is simple; go racing.
The Demaras Auto Racing Team made a rare Wednesday appearance at Goodwood, taking part in a non-points paying race. Daniel, in his final year in youth division, wanted to have a try at the teen division.
Driving a longer, heavier, more powerful kart took some getting used to for #12. Corners that can be taken ‘flat out’ in youth karts need a little more finesse of the throttle in adult karts. But the biggest challenge is reaching the pedals.
“I couldn’t figure out how to move the seat forward!”, sad Demaras, who can clearly be seen in 1st practice with his legs fully stretched out, driving with his toes on the pedals. With a little help from the Goodwood pit crew (plus a seat pad behind his back) Daniel got comfortable, and got down to business, setting times of 37.5 seconds, 37.9 seconds and 37.4 seconds in the three practice sessions.
A strange qualifying session followed, with two quick laps (including a third quickest 37.4 second qualifying time) followed by two compromised laps. As Daniel came up on slower traffic, his older competitors drove defensive lines, preventing Demaras from making a clean pass. Great strategy during a race, but a complete waste of time for both racers during a qualifying session. Daniel commented, “I expect this kind of behaviour from the youth racers. Some of them are less than 10 years old. But to be racing in the teen category, and have drivers blocking you in qualifying is just immature.”.
Starting the race from 3rd position (out of 8 drivers) Daniel quickly pulled a gap on his nearest competitor, and kept up with the top two drivers. While the trio pulled away from the rest of the field, Daniel kept in touch with the leaders, but was just a little too far back to make a passing attempt. Not discouraged, Daniel felt that for a youth driver to achieve a podium finish in a teen division race was an accomplishment against much tougher opponents.