~ by Daniel Demaras ~
After a year of close races and fast laps, the best of the best drivers came out to race at the K1RS awards night. Throughout the evening there were some great battles on track and super fast lap times. Some of Southern Ontario’s top outdoor karters and the quickest racers of K1 Speed Toronto showed up to battle it out against each other on track. Some fast times were set, with lap times getting very close to the outright lap record at K1 Speed Toronto.
One of the greatest moments of my short racing career so far was competing for Canada at the 2019 K1 Speed E-World Championships. Getting the opportunity to race against drivers from around the world in the beautiful state of California was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Only, I got the opportunity to do it again in 2020. Who was standing in my way? My own father.
Finally, the time came. Chris vs Daniel. Father vs Son. We both figured that while the most fair way to decide who qualifies for the World Championships was the head to head fastest lap challenge set up by the track, it probably wasn’t the most exciting for our friends watching. Instead of spacing ourselves out on track, we crossed the line side by side, ready to battle it out. For 8 laps, we went back and forth, side by side, pushing each other to the walls, pulling off switchbacks and passes on every corner of the circuit. I just had the edge, both on track and on the time sheets, but there was no time to rest. I knew that to solidify my spot in the World Championships, I would have to bring my A-game for the second of two races against him. This time after more close and intense racing, I made a pass and took off, making sure I set a fast enough lap time to punch my ticket for the K1 Speed World Championships.
After defeating my father, everybody at K1 gathered for the podium ceremony, where the top three K1RS points holders in 2019 were recognized. Chris Demaras, my dad, placed third, Santiago Ramirez, the top junior driver at K1 Speed, placed second, and I finished the year in first place. Dawson Campbell was also honoured for setting the fastest lap of 2019 which still stands as the outright K1 Speed lap record. Better than the trophies and the applause was the time spent with friends and family. K1 Speed has been a big part of my life for the past two years, and I’ve made friends and had some spectacular races, both with people I’ve met at K1, and with my own dad. When I go to California, I’ll be a better driver because of the battles I’ve had at K1, racing against super fast guys like lap record holder Dawson Campbell, reigning K1NG of Speed Daniel Chu, Racing to End Alzheimer’s Charity Race winner Paulo Fonseca, along with other top drivers like Igor Manukhov, Ahmad Hamdy, Ivano Di Vittorio, Jason Wong, Dale Goz, Nico Hines, Terry Mueller, and all the other top talents who come to K1 Speed, plus the stars of tomorrow in the junior karts like Santiago Ramirez, Christian Menezes and Stefano Picerno.
2019 was a fantastic year for K1 Speed. The first ever Challenge GP in Toronto, multiple thrilling drift nights, and a charity race with over $1000 raised to help fund Alzheimer’s research and care. With many great events on the horizon, such as the GoPro Challenge GP, there will be no better place to race in 2020 than K1 Speed Toronto.
Special thanks to photographer Ryan Dupont! https://www.instagram.com/ryan.dupont.photography/