June 30, 2022

Gathering Data at Cayuga

Open lapping days at Toronto Motorports Park are unpredictable. Along with open-wheel cars like the Formula 1200s, it’s not uncommon to see a Ferrari, Lamborghini or full-on NASCAR Pinty’s Series car running practice laps.

Despite it’s low power and humble roots, the Formula 1200 (called Formula Vee everywhere else in the world) is a race car with excellent cornering ability. These cars can really surprise some people at the racetrack.

But for young guns driving the F1200s, it can be a little nerve-wracking seeing an Italian super-car or American muscle-car in the mirror.

Helping calm their nerves, team principal Bill Vallis gives a few wise words of encouragement before sending his drivers out on track.

Taking part in the practice day is rookie racer Daniel Demaras in the No. 12, and his veteran teammate Nathen Yue in the No. 49. The cars are both BRD chassis with identical 1200 CC four-cylinder engines. This creates parity in competition, preventing anyone from ‘spending’ their way to the top. It is a true test of driver ability.

Formula 1200s are quick. Weighing only 800 lbs, there isn’t a lot of mass to move around, so they have an excellent power to weight ratio. Ford Mustangs have hundreds of horsepower, but with all that extra weight, the F1200 will catch it in the corners and braking zones. This creates some very odd David and Goliath sights.

Practice days are all about getting as much data as possible. As drivers try out new techniques and go-fast parts, they need as much seat time as possible to gauge improvements. Between sessions, Demaras would fire up his laptop to see how consistent his laps were, and where was was gaining time. There were some issues with the data-logger, but still an extremely valuable day at the track.

Coming up next week at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, the 2022 VARAC Vintage Grand Prix!


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