KartStars Canada is big-time kart racing in Ontario. A province-wide series with national-level drivers drawn in from all points on the map. Without question, five of the toughest weekends on the calendar.
Being with a top-line team like New Speed Motorsports has major advantages for Daniel Demaras. Arriving early on Friday morning, NSM’s Cale, Max and Anthony jumped into action to prepare the No. 412 race kart. A new OTK seat changed the handling characteristics of the kart, but ideally would last longer than two weekends.
Not a lot of useful practice on Friday morning, but when the rain stopped in the afternoon, Daniel went out on a damp track with slicks. Extremely difficult to keep it on the island, but those could be race conditions on the weekend. At the end of the day, Cale swapped out the practice motor for race winning motor Uniqua and mounted up a new set of racing slicks.
On Saturday morning, the track was green as the rain had washed away all the rubber. During morning practice Daniel was a little more than 1/10th off the leader, but the chassis changes Leonard made improved handling considerably
Demaras lined up next to Yanko for qualifying, but once they went on track, it looked like Monza 2020 where nobody wanted to start their laps. Brake checking and jostling for position, quali started with Demaras as the Intrepid meat in a Tony Kart sandwich. Steve Macvoy took the pole, followed by TRAK regular Steven Chan, then Daniel Demaras.
The two heat races that followed were a demonstration of Demaras’ maturity and patience. Starting from third in both races, Daniel pushed the pole sitter across the starting line, then had the inside line on Chan to take 2nd place away early. From there, Demaras used solid Briggs racing technique to tuck in behind pole-sitter Macvoy and push away from the chasing pack. Daniel won both heat races with exciting last-lap passes.
One of the best tuners in the paddock, Leonard continued to fine-tune the kart all afternoon as grip levels increased. But Demaras couldn’t pin the blame for his poor start in the Pre-Final on D’Arrigo. Despite starting from pole, Daniel ended the session in third, starting directly behind arch-rival Yanko with Macvoy on the front row to keep him company.
The NSM team searched for more speed in the Final. In the Pre-Final, Demaras’ competitors were accelerating away from him at the end of the straightaway, while Daniel showed his skills in the infield section. Time for a gear change; drop one tooth or two? The team swung for the fences and made a big gear change.
Starting from third in the Final, Demaras tried hard to keep in the draft of leaders Yanko and Macvoy. Pushing as hard as he could to keep in striking distance, then the racing gods smiled on Daniel as he set his fastest lap of 43.386 sec on lap 10. Then, Macvoy attempted a pass on Yanko at Turn 1 and the two interlocked wheels, sending Yanko towards the wall and Macvoy wide. Daniel veered inside, passed both racers, and held the lead for the next two laps. As Daniel approached the finish line, Leonard climbed the fence to shout at his driver to protect the inside line, but Daniel was already celebrating as he raised his hand at the finish line, a razor thin victory over Ben Morgan by 0.065 seconds with Macvoy recovering to 3rd and Yanko in 4th.
Demaras was ecstatic! He was handed the checkered flag for a victory lap with all his friends and teammates watching. VRS team principal James Treadwell, from Daniel’s original team, was on hand to see the kid he helped get started in karting achieve a great result. This was a team victory for Anthony, Max, Leonard, Cale and Glenn, and it wouldn’t be the last one of the weekend for New Speed Motorsports.