In just under two weeks, the top scoring drivers from K1 Speed locations around the world, including myself representing Team Canada, will head down to Irvine, California, to compete in the inaugural K1 Speed World Championships. In order to compete against the best, I’ve been working hard to prepare myself for the event.

To be as fast as I can be in K1 Speed electric karts, I’ve been consistently going to K1 Speed Toronto, setting the fastest laps I can. Though I’ve raced at K1 Speed hundreds of times, I’m always looking to learn. I had the opportunity to train with and learn from Patricio Jourdain, an accomplished race car driver in many disciplines, and a master at K1 Speed. He’s the instructor for K1’s Karting Academy. Also helping me is Len, the competition director at K1 Speed Toronto. Len has given me so many helpful pieces of advice over the years, and always tells me to race the track, not the competition. Jut to focus on my racing lines and hitting the apexes, and not worry about what the racer behind me might do. Race my own race. I don’t think I would be as good a racer today if not for all Len’s help.

I wish I could go to K1 Speed every day, but that isn’t practical. Just because I can’t make it to the track doesn’t mean I stop practicing. My racing simulator is not identical to karting, but it helps keep my reflexes sharp. Even just the physical sense of turning a wheel and pressing pedals helps to prepare me for the big race. As long as I’m on Gran Turismo or Project Cars, my parents don’t even yell at me about playing video games!

Preparing for this event involves a lot more than just racing. A trip to California means missing out on school, and being 15, that’s a big deal for me. So, over the March break (between sim runs and K1 visits) I have to do all the schoolwork that I’ll miss while I’m competing in California. The incredible sacrifices a racer must make! Just getting to go to California is a huge deal for me and my family, and I’m very thankful for K1 Speed for giving me this incredible opportunity.

It took a lot of races, a lot of fast times and a lot of effort to qualify for the World Championships, and I couldn’t be more excited to represent K1 Speed Canada at the World Championships.

Daniel Demaras

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