It’s been a week since his first F1200 race, and Daniel’s nose is still sunburned. Three days at the race track with the highs of race starts and the adrenaline dump of the checkered flag can be taxing. To keep sharp, the plan was to visit HIP and meet up with Coach Venditti to recap the race, and get some virtual practice laps.

Chris jumped into the driver’s seat of the Miata to drive out to Ajax. The roadster feels very much at home on Mosport’s sweeping corners, but this track car is incredibly uncomfortable on public roads.

Those adjustable coilovers that keep the car so well planted at Turn 5 are super-stiff. With very little ground clearance, even getting out of the driveway is a challenge. Daniel got tired of Chris redlining the engine every time they passed under a bridge, so he took over as ‘responsible’ driver.

When they arrived at HIP, the guys found Venditti was all business. He had the GoPro footage of Round 1 / Race 3 all queued up on the big screen, and he had reviewed it enough to find corners Daniel carved well, and where there was room for improvement.

One of the videos shot at CTMP that weekend reached 1,500+ views on YouTube, far more than the average 100 friends and sponsors who normally see Demaras Racing videos. But John is not here to boost anyone’s ego. His trained ear listened to the engine note, and could tell that Daniel was shifting too early on the back straight. John was here to coach.

Once the debrief was completed, Daniel strapped back into the Force Dynamics CR-401 Continuous Rotation Simulator, with iRacing’s Formula Vee loaded up at virtual CTMP. John settled into his rig and proceeded to conduct two hours of lead-follow exercises and passing drills to hammer home the lessons.

Chris and Daniel have been visiting HIP weekly since February, and John is updating the ‘cirriculum’ as the months have passed. Using the fine tuning available in the simulator, Venditti increased air / track temperature to better mimic the conditions Demaras will race in at the VARAC Vintage Grand Prix on June 16th to 19th and the Canadian Touring Trophy Races on July 23rd and 24th, both at CTMP.

With nearly 30 years of experience racing and coaching, John has the edge over Daniel, but the gap between them is diminishing every week.

Lonely in the parking lot, the 99 Miata dreams of its next track day at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. But for now, it’s back to the grind as a commuter car, shuttling Chris and Daniel back home to Toronto.

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