~ by Daniel #12 Demaras ~
Round 2 of the Canadian F1200 Championship took place during the VARAC Vintage Grand Prix, a marquee event at Mosport that brought out crowds of spectators, and cars from all over the US and Canada.
After shaking down the car in practice, the No. 12 suffered engine issues in qualifying which put me 7th on the grid for Race 1. I reviewed the footage with CASC Driving Instructor Paul Subject afterwards to better understand how I could improve in order to move through the grid on Saturday.
With the engine issue resolved, we went out on a chilly Saturday morning for Race 1. With the No. 12 car now producing full power, I found myself on the back of VMS teammate Bob Patterson in a battle for 4th. After tailing him for a number of laps, I held it around the outside of Turn 8 on the last lap to make the pass. A great battle with an experienced driver.
Paul and I reviewed more footage ahead of Race 2, and with some tips on taking Turn 5 more effectively, I was excited to get out there to try out what I’d learn. This time the whole VMS team was in a four-car train, battling for 3rd. I didn’t realize we were on the last lap, and remained behind Max without attacking. Another Top-5 finish, but this race was nonstop action.
After being given homework from Paul Subject to review my race video on Saturday night, I had a better understanding of where I was losing time come Sunday. I was more patient in this race, hanging at the back of the four-car train led by Xavier Lassus, waiting for my opportunity. After Max hit the wall in Turn 5, the race was red flagged a lap later, nullifying the move I put on Nathan in Turn 2 that lap.
The Feature Race got off to a good start, and I was once again battling my three teammates. 4th on track, I was chasing Bob Patterson, when another Formula Classic car hit the wall in turn 2. The safety car was brought out for the most of the race, making the real challenge just keeping the car in gear when the pack would bunch up.
On the last lap, they threw the green and white flag, but I made a mess of the restart, falling into the clutches of Nathan in Turn 1, but I kept my foot on the gas around the outside and remained in 4th. I made up ground through Turns 2 and 3, but had to follow blue flags in 4 and 5 for a faster car. I just couldn’t get close enough, finishing less than a car-length behind Bob.
It was a weekend of constant learning and improvement, and although I didn’t pick up a podium to show for my achievements, I felt like I was a much better driver at the end of the weekend. It was a great experience racing at a big event that I’ve been a spectator at before, and I can’t wait to do it all again at Round 3 of the championship.