Everything seemed different on Sunday.
Fog had rolled in, enveloping the track in an eerie haze. Racers camping at the track complained about bullfrogs croaking all night, not letting anyone get their much-needed beauty sleep.
The Masters race was the one Daniel came to win, and that didn’t happen. Sunday was the “catchweight” class called KartStars Senior, which the No. 412 kart runs at Masters weight, creating a significant disadvantage for Demaras. This race would just be for fun. Like a non-points race they used to do in F1 back in the ’60s. Just race and battle and don’t worry about the finishing position because you likely aren’t going to win this class.
With strong driving and effective use of the draft, Daniel was able to take his mid-pack qualifying position of P11 and finish P7 and P5 in the heat races. Based on those results, he started the Pre-Final in P6 … his best starting position of the day.
Unfortunately, an over-zealous driver collided with Daniel between Turns 1&2, sending the No 412 into the grass. Last place again!
But this time, Daniel stayed cool.
Despite some damage, and the alignment out of whack, Demaras progressed forward, making passes throughout the race. He never over-reached, and just maintained control of the situation. The screen shot shows the position changes, but Daniel crossed the finish line P9. It took a determined drive to get there.
Repairs completed (special thanks to Marco Di Leo for the ‘loaner’ parts) the No. 412 was in fighting trim. The engine ran strong, the handling was smooth, and with the experience of 9 timed sessions over the weekend, Daniel was set. He’d line up P9 for the Final.
Controlled aggression is the best description of the Final. Daniel battled hard, made some passes, and finished lucky P7 on the day. On track, he looked cool and composed, not afraid of wheel to wheel action, but not stepping over the line to draw the attention of race officials either.
A mixed weekend. For New Speed Motorsports, VLR Masters standout Cayden whooped everyone by starting dead last with engine problems, the cruising to a 4.640 second victory, while Rocco had to be satisfied with a 3rd place in Mini Briggs. For Daniel, it was the first weekend he’d been off the podium all year long. His streak ended with one win, two 2nd and two 3rd place finishes (plus a pole position). Ironic that he did better in the KartStars Senior race on Sunday … the one he didn’t really care about … than he did in the Briggs Masters race on Saturday that he’d stressed over.
Lot’s to think about for young Daniel on the 375 km drive back to Toronto.