Originally Published on CKN
Throughout 2019, Daniel Demaras was fortunate enough to work with GMO (Gianmarco Raimondo) under the PRO tent.
Below is an excerpt from GMO’s Driver’s Blog originally published on Canadian Karting News about his role in team PRO helping young racers maximize their potential.
After racing all of these different categories in 4 different continents over 10 years, I jumped into a ROK Shifter to race the final round of the Motomaster Ron Fellows Karting Championship with Professional Racing Ontario (PRO) and here’s my story on why I did it!
As any driver knows, dealing with the politics and financial aspect of racing can really put a cramp on the drive to pursue it. Since I have been in a bit of a lull finding sponsorship to race cars, the idea came to me to go back to my roots and work in the industry that made me fall in love with the sport of racing!
Having worked a couple instructing programs with Curtis Fox and Darryl Timmers, the idea of working with PRO was an easy choice. Coincidentally, Curtis and Darryl were in the position to expand their team and brought me on as their new data analyst or “data guy” and driver coach to help their team on the technical side. I do anything from track walks, to reading data, visual coaching, onboard video analysis, and even some mental coaching. On a few occasions, I even got my hands a little dirty working on the karts, which is a rare sight for data guy let me tell you.
Essentially, whatever my racing career has taught me over the last 20 years, I have brought to the table to help the next generation of racers!
It has definitely been an adjustment to work with kids and teen racers with such a raw and unpolished passion to compete. Usually the drivers I have coached in the past have either been successful drivers or gentlemen drivers with zero track experience. Karters are a rare breed, in that in most cases they don’t have much experience driving anything let alone how to do it ‘properly’, yet they can still throw an oversteering go-kart into a corner at the blink of an eye and have no explanation for how this happened, it really is a fascinating phenomenon. No ‘think’ just ‘do’.
Now-a-days, so much technology has come into the sport, mostly with the data acquisition. Twelve years ago we just started introducing data at the tail end of my karting career, but it wasn’t consistent nor reliable so I never used it. All of the information we can pick up in this day and age, can be so confusing to younger drivers. I must say, one of my biggest challenges was keeping multiple eight year-olds still long enough to look at a screen they don’t care about and tell them exactly where they’re losing one-second a lap before they want to run off to get french fries or start playing with whatever was closest to them.
I really don’t blame them because the graphs we can get can be confusing and seem like schoolwork, but little do they know the GPS quality is better than what I used in F3.