6th Gear in a 5 Speed

May 4th was Daniel Demaras’ third and final pre-season training day in the Mazda Miata. After a practice day with the LDRC Series and a lapping day with DriveTeq, coach Venditti arranged a full-day at CTMP with 6th Gear Motorsports. This one was a little different.

The 6th Gear clubhouse at CTMP is just incredible. It’s like Han’s garage in F&F: Tokyo Drift, if everyone was Italian and took place in Toronto instead. Club executives welcomed everyone warmly, making sure Chris, Daniel and John were fully hopped-up on espresso before going out on track. Even though the club has a full kitchen, they arranged catering by Garage Guy BBQ.

Mixed conditions is the only way to describe the weather. While driving in from Toronto, rain fell steadily, and the track surfaces were saturated when the Demaras Racing boys arrived. But wet weather running is exactly what Daniel needed before the start of the F1200 season.

There were plenty of heavy-hitters at Mosport. Not just Porsche GT4 RSs, but full on IMSA race cars that competed at Daytona.

Despite the Miata being equipped with a new-ish set of Hankook RS-4 tires, the damp but drying track conditions would be challenging, as many drivers found out. With guidance, Daniel was able to keep the Mazda on the island the whole day, and avoided spins, while still setting good lap times.

Without question, this was Daniel’s longest practice day. Rather than splitting the seat-time with his son, Chris sat out this event, and just played a support role by handling fuel and tires.

The 1999 Miata held up well, without any mechanical issues. At nearly fours hours of track time, the Mazda worked hard, but the 1.8L engine is strong and the suspension is dialed in just right.

As the end of the day approached, Daniel had a semi-private track. Only a handful of cars circulated in the final hour, with most drivers returning to the clubhouse for home-cooked Porchetta sandwiches and spiducci skewers hot off the grill.

6th Gear Motorsports is a total class act, and their event was the highlight of spring training. Plans are already underway to return for their June track day!


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