The 2020 club racing season finally kicked off at Goodwood Kartways on Saturday, June 20, 2020. New teams and drivers, including a massive field of rookies, made their way to the track for the first time in far too long.
Daniel Demaras also made his race debut for New Speed Motorsports at TRAK Race 1, after weeks of practice with the new team. Driving the No. 375 Intrepid – New Speed Motorsports kart ‘Powered by PRO’ Daniel was well practiced before Saturday’s activities.
The new chassis’ handling characteristics were different than what Demaras was used to, so it took him more time to get up to speed.
On race day, practice and qualifying weren’t ideal, with Daniel placing 17th in practice and 18th in qualifying. Veteran mechanic and coach Leonard instructed Daniel to take advantage of the cold tires at the start and make up ground early in the race. Demaras made up two places right off the green flag, capitalized on an early incident to move up to 13th, then fought hard to keep this position. Although overtaken later in the race, Daniel consistently applied pressure to competitors, finishing 14th in the Pre-Final.
Between sessions, Daniel’s mom and sister Michelle dropped by the New Speed tent to meet the team. The Simone family are a class act, making everyone feel welcome in their paddock. After a quick greeting, Leonard got back to work, lowering the chassis to free up the No. 357 kart, seeking every advantage he could provide to his new protege. Master mechanic Cale calculated that a New Speed Motorsports decal on the front fairing would be worth a tenth!
With just the Final left to get up to the front and score some big points, Leonard gave Daniel different advice this time around. Pure, outright aggression.
At the start Daniel quickly found himself in a close multi-kart battle, and fought hard to make up positions. After banging wheels on an overtake attempt at Turn 8, the No. 357 kart began sputtering throughout the next lap while gasoline leaked onto Daniel’s right arm. The kart ground to a halt out of Turn 9 and Daniel could see a fuel pump pulse had broken clean off, a result of his elbow making contact with it in the earlier collision. A freak accident that ended the day early.
The No. 357 kart showed real signs of pace, but the final result was a DNF. Daniel will have many chances to make up for this result throughout the coming months. Demaras and his No. 357 kart are looking to score some big points at TRAK Race 2 on Saturday, June 27, 2020.