Last year, New Speed Motorsports was the new kid on the block. The four drivers, including a club racing rookie, quickly established themselves as one of the best teams in the paddock. A podium threat every weekend in 2020, NSM brought home two championships in their inaugural season, thanks to Rocco Simone in Briggs Cadet and Daniel Demaras in Briggs Masters.
Now the Goodwood paddock is filled with new, independent teams looking to make a name for themselves. But NSM’s secret weapons are the talented men behind the wrenches. Leonard, Cale, Glen and Anthony will help Rocco, Leo, Cayden and Daniel achieve the maximum results possible, every weekend.
With clear skies and warm temperatures on Saturday, 140+ competitors hit the track at Goodwood Kartways for Race 1 in the 2021 Toronto Racing Association of Karters series.
In Briggs Masters, Goodwood veteran Jeff Conte in the No. 413 teamed up with Daniel Demaras in the No. 412 to draft their way through qualifying. Daniel set a quick 43.577 sec lap on the 5th circuit, only for Jeff to eclipse the mark by 0.058 sec moments later. Yanko laid down a 43.460 that nobody could top, taking pole.
They don’t call this class ‘Masters of Disaster‘ for nothing!
The Pre-Final was a tame race. Positions lost were regained, and the racers would enter the Final in the same order as qualifying. But when the green flag fell on the Final, things got rough.
Daniel got his timing right, and stayed on pole-sitter Yanko’s bumper through Turn 1. On the inside through left-handers at Turns 2, 3 and 4, rival racers knew they could trust Daniel not to run them off the track, resulting in some side-by-side action on the opening lap. Now on the outside of Turn 5, Daniel lost a position to the No. 477 and tucked into the draft. Behind them a multi-kart collision had half the field stopped as the leaders continued the circuit. Quick action by track workers and racers alike prevented a red flag.
Demaras shadowed the No. 477. Daniel was quicker in the corners but not as quick on the straights, preventing him from pushing his competitor forward to catch the top two. After analyzing the pattern, Demaras made an inside pass at Turn 9. Now the two could bump-draft up to Conte and Yanko who were checking out. But with two laps to go, and closing on the leaders, the No. 477 made a passing attempt at the end of the front straight. He drove into the back of the No. 412, then headed straight for the shiny new Turn 1 wall.
Without the draft or a push, Daniel drove home to third place, right where he’d qualified.
After the race, Leonard D’Arrigo and Chris Demaras met up with Daniel at Technical Inspection. One of the guys teased that Daniel couldn’t close the gap in the final laps. But looking at the back of the kart, the damage was now obvious. Daniel explained that when the No. 477 collided with the back of the No. 412, it ran up the bumper and over the engine. The throttle cable was snagged, and the engine was full throttle for the final two laps.
Daniel described holding on those final laps as the most difficult drive he ever remembered. Unable to come off throttle, Daniel had to brake hard, fight the clutch, and hope to make it to the finish line no matter how hard the kart wanted to push through the corners.
The first podium of the season was extra-special for Daniel Demaras, and all club members at Goodwood Kartways, thanks to Trevor Reeve and Chad Webster of Reeve Webster Racing. Their family run team sponsored the race, and went way beyond expectations to provide gift bags filled with karting necessities to all the podium finishers. In the draw after the podium ceremony, Daniel even won a 5 gallon fuel can! How lucky can a guy get!
In many ways, 2021 has started right where 2020 left off, with Demaras, Conte and Yanko fighting it out on track, then patting each other on the back afterwards. Being back on the podium in the first race 2021 was important to Daniel, especially when his damaged kart that could have resulted in a DNF to start his championship defense. It was a lucky day.