~ by Chris #16 Demaras ~

Rolling into Downsview Park, you just knew something was different last night. The parking lot of the K1 Speed looked like a car show, and I lined up the WRX next to a pair of Subaru BRZs, one of them with Drift Queen decal in the window. I was definitely in the right place.

Drift Night at K1 Speed is zero competition but maximum enjoyment. It’s style points, like figure skating or monster trucks. Nobody cares about lap times on this night.

The ‘Clubspeed’ live timing app says my last visit to K1 Speed was September 28, 2020. Two weeks short of a year! Between CRKC and TRAK, I feel like I’m at a race track every weekend, but it’s usually Goodwood. Indoor karting is more something we do in the fall and winter. But I just couldn’t miss Drift Night. It’s too much fun.

My daughter Michelle, plus her friends Angeline and Mia, decided to take the plunge and try drifting. Michelle has raced at K1 before, but for her rookie-racer pals, it would be trial by tire!

The only member of the Demaras Racing family who wasn’t at the track was Daniel. He’s a serious student now that he’s at U of T. But, man, was he jealous when he found out New Speed Motorsports co-owner Max Preston was there! Max heard about the fun, grabbed his helmet, and drove down to the track to meet up.

Max is a championship-winning Shifter Kart driver who takes great joy in helping the next generation, like my son Daniel, become better racers. While this might seem odd, I actually have a poster of Max in my garage.

Lining up in front of Preston, I actually felt nervous. He said he hadn’t been to K1 Speed since the old days (when the track was called Grand Prix Kartways) and by comparison, I’ve raced at K1 681 times since they opened in Canada. I tried to look relaxed, but inside…I knew I was chum in the water for this shark.

Even in the drift race, Max gapped me by 3.128 seconds, but like I said nobody is keeping score! This night is just for fun.

On to the main event of the evening, the Power Trio of Angeline, Mia and Michelle. K1 Speed’s own Anthony R. took special care of the youngsters, making sure they were properly belted in, booster seats installed, with helmets that didn’t make the girls feel like bobbleheads.

When these young ladies attacked the track, it was scary. All the warnings about the lack of grip didn’t dissuade them from going flat-out right away. It didn’t take long for one of them to find the wall (not naming names here) and the crash sound reverberated deep into the girls ears.

K1 was really busy, and those that didn’t arrive early were faced with long delays. That’s what scarcity is all about Charlie Brown! It was great to see Dale and Logan (from 130R) and Christian and Sherri (from KGR) but I’m not sure if any of them got to drift race. Even Max had to call it a night. But not the East York Crew. Nope. They were ready for one more race, and I was lucky enough to drift against them.

All the hesitancy of the first session was gone, and when Michelle, Mia and Angeline got out on track after 9:00 pm (on a school night!) there was nothing I could do to keep up with them.

But nobody was keeping score, right?

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