The torrential rain on Friday’s forecast was good news for the Demaras Auto Racing Team. Driver #12 is a rain specialist, so he was excited to race in the wet. The drive up to Goodwood Kartways, after a day of training at Grand Prix Kartways, saw dark grey clouds…but no rain.
The team arrived at the track and scrambled to get their racing suits on as their names were being called for first practice. The air was humid, but the ground was bone dry. Things were not going as planned. Practice went well for Daniel, and after the three sessions he decided on kart #8.
In qualifying Daniel set a personal best time of the day of 39.3 seconds. After checking the times, Daniel found out that he had qualified an impressive P2. His time was, however, a whopping 1.3 seconds off the polesitter’s time.
“Second is good, but the fact that I was so far off the pace scares me a little.” admitted Demaras.
The top three drivers all got off to a smooth start and pulled away from the rest of the field. Daniel had a better first corner than the leader, however, Goodwood’s rulebook prohibits passing into turn 1 on the first lap (and even turn 2 when running in reverse configuration) so Daniel had to back off to avoid a collision with the slower driver. Daniel held a perfect line through the corners, but as usual, lost time on the straight sections.
As the white flag waved, Daniel was still in second, determined to make a pass. Driver #12 looked for opportunities. As the leaders caught the tail end of the field, Ivan Kosar slowed dramatically while attempting to get around slower traffic. This caused Daniel to run right into the back of Kosar’s kart. Although the contact was minor, it slowed Daniel enough to be caught (and nearly passed) by 3rd place runner Cameron Cluett.
Daniel drove on, determined to make a pass for the lead. As the three racers prepared to lap a kart at turn 5, the leader took to the outside for a pass, while Daniel tightened up the corner, taking a shorter radius on the inside of the turn. The three karts were side by side through the corner, but Daniel emerged in 1st place and the crowd gasped at the bravery of the last lap pass. As Demaras pulled into the lead, in front of him lay an uphill straight, where smaller drivers have a speed advantage. Daniel hunched down, lowering his helmet to a more aerodynamic stance, and rocketed through the kinks at turns 6 and 7. One last flat-out corner, and onto the front straight came Demaras in the lead. Daniel crossed the finish line with both hands in the air, celebrating his first victory since the exhibition race nearly 3 months ago.
“The move I made to win the race is one I’ve been practicing all week at GPK” said Daniel after the race. “You start out really wide, but exit tight. All the practice really paid off, and I’m super grateful to the staff at GPK for holding the camp.”
“I’m also proud that this is my first win with In Home Service, Laird Auto Body, KPMG, Scarboro Subaru and Kleen Kuip as my sponsors. This couldn’t have happened without them, so I’m glad we get to celebrate this win together.”
Driver #12 was confident that this race would open up the floodgates, and that he would win more races. The team also decided to transfer into the Friday Championship at Goodwood, where both drivers would continue their championship campaigns. This could be a turning point for the Demaras Auto Racing Team; a turnaround that they’ve wanted, and hopefully, could mean more wins.