The whole story in a 5 minute video. Tough ending.
On the drive up to the track, the weatherman was still promising blue skies, but it never happened. We were in store for the 2nd wet race in a row. Christopher P. would be subbing in for regular tuner Andrew, but his year of experience wrenching for Daniel in 2018 made it feel like old friends.
Weekly driver training sessions with Curtis & Darryl from PRO are paying dividends for young Daniel. He’s become very confident racing in the rain. Demaras was 3rd in morning practice, just 0.614 seconds off the leader, which was reduced to a 0.422 gap in qualifying. For much of the qualifying session, Daniel held the fastest time, but an overly aggressive competitor blocked, got passed, then repassed both Demaras and front runner Zach Boam like it was the last lap of the final.
Starting the Pre-Final from 4th, Daniel raced strong. As confidence-inspiring Andrew Waring had said days earlier, Daniel was up at the sharp end of the grid on merit.
Demaras ran as high as 3rd, and as low as 5th, before a last-lap pass on Logan Ploder regained Daniel’s original qualifying position of 4th at the checkered flag.
Daniel was confident going into the Final. The track was wet, but he’d be on the outside of row two. Very comfortable starting position. The kart was perfect. The right gear, sticky rain tires and perfect front end alignment.
It only took one lap for a day’s worth of hard work to come unraveled. Kart #312, who started third, made a dive for the apex of turn 1 on lap 1…and made it stick. But the second time, #312 understeered into the wall at turn 1, bounced back on track, directly in front of Daniel. At 80+ km/h on the wet, flat-out left hander, Demaras couldn’t avoid the collision.
When the kart was towed back to the PRO paddock, Daniel’s only comment was “Fix the kart. We’re training on Wednesday, and racing on Saturday.”
On to round three.