TRAK Season Finale
At the end of last week’s TRAK Race 11, everything went wrong. Brake fade turned into brake failure. A collision with Kart #27 ended young Daniel’s race. But those events set off the dominos that resulted in the difficult Season Finale for Demaras.
Chris and Daniel arrived at Goodwood very early, before the PRO tent was even up. Tools out, oil in, gear on…everything Chris could do was completed before 8:30 AM. The extent of the damage to Daniel’s kart wasn’t obvious yet.
Curtis fixed the brakes; installed a new diaphragm and added fluid. Once the kart was started up (to test the brakes) the bent axle became visible. Daniel missed morning practice.
As the team thrashed on Daniel’s rear axle, qualifying was already underway. The kart was rushed to the track. Curtis insisted the brakes needed to be tested on track before the races, to make sure that problem was resolved. Daniel completed his out lap, and watched the checkered flag drop as he approached the starting line; he would not get to set a qualifying lap.
During the pre-final, Daniel made an excellent start. Although he was at the back of the pack, he passed three karts and was on the move. But the problems with his kart became very obvious. The alignment had been thrown off by last week’s impact, and this issue was not identified in the hours of wrenching on Saturday. The kart was pulling to the right severely and was snapping to oversteer in the left-handers.
During the break between the pre-final and the final, Curtis brought out the Sniper alignment tool. As soon as he inspected the front end, he commented on how much toe-out the kart was suffering from. No wonder it was pulling to the right! With the front end aligned, the brakes repaired, the axle replaced, the right gear installed and the clutch serviced, Daniel was ready to attack the final.
Even though Daniel was starting from the tail end of the field, he made bold moves and found himself in a Top 10 position. While feeling good about his passes, Daniel could feel the issues with the kart hadn’t been resolved at all. The kart was still pulling to the right, and would not drive straight. Teammate Anthony Garofalo commented that he could see Daniel’s kart crabbing to side on the straightaways. It was killing Daniel’s speed.
At the end of the event, Daniel looked for the positive. He’d earned another Top10 finish to end the season, just as he started it. Chris was a little more upset, feeling that there was so much more potential for his son if the kart had been in top shape.