With the troubles of the past two days behind them, Daniel Demaras, Chris Demaras, Nick Waring, Gianmarco Raimondo and the PRO crew were ready for Briggs & Stratton Summerfest, one of the biggest kart racing events in Canada. The event is three heat races (with randomly assigned starting positions) accumulating points towards the final race to decide the day’s overall winner.
Demaras started the first heat race in 24th position, quickly made up some places, and found himself behind reigning Canadian National Karting Champion Jon Treadwell. Daniel commented afterwards that he learned so much driving behind Treadwell, seeing how he positioned his kart in the corners.
“I went wheel to wheel with the champ, and I passed him…twice! He’s so crafty behind the wheel that even with engine troubles he was able to attack me and take back the place once. But I can say on this day I challenged the best, and proved my skill as a racer.“Daniel Demaras, #12 PRO Intrepid Briggs & Stratton
Regular mechanic Andrew Waring had the weekend off, so his brother Nick Waring was handling wrenching duties. But Daniel knew this was an important race…so he called in little sister Michelle Demaras to work on the kart. Michelle spent the afternoon tightening the axle set screws, under the watchful eye of her father, Chris.
Every racer wants to compete, but for Daniel, there’s really one person he wants to race against; his old friend, and former VRS teammate, Keidon Fletcher. These two teenagers only get a few opportunities a year to race each other, so they spent all three days practicing together, helping to improve each others game, hoping for an on track showdown.
In heat race 2, they got the chance to compete wheel to wheel for the final laps, pushing each other, all the way to a photo-finish at the line with Demaras edging out his friend and rival by 0.028 seconds!
Heat race 3 was one to forget. Daniel was running strong in 12th, gunning for a Top 10 finish, before being run off the track at turn 4. Stuck in the grass, Daniel was helped free by teammate and part-time corner marshal Nate Franco. But the damage was done. Daniel dropped to last place, half a lap down. To add insult to injury, the race officials reprimanded Daniel (warning only) about short-cutting the track.
Daniel’s points total for the day were low, and he’d be starting in 29th for the final.
When asked by Gianmarco for his plan for the final race, Daniel said only one thing; make passes! From a poor starting position, Daniel managed to move up 8 positions and avoid the carnage of the ‘competition caution’ mandatory yellow flag at lap ten (meant to bunch the field together) bringing the kart home in respectable 21st place.
SummerFest is about survival. Random starting positions, inverted grids, desperation dives and of course, the final 3 lap shootout result in a lot of twisted metal, broken parts and broken hearts. Daniel kept it clean and brought the kart home in one piece, which on this day was more of an accomplishment than the numbers show.