A new track. Sure, Daniel had virtually driven Calabogie Motorsports Park in the simulator studio at HIP, but really, Friday morning was his first time lapping the track. A long, 21-turn circuit, CMP is challenging.
Vallis Motor Sport was ready with four cars under the tent. New guy in the F1200 field, Peter, drove the No. 95 Pepto-Bismol F1200 Mysterion this weekend. VMS crew Yves and his young protégé Alexandre made sure the No. 12 was ready to race. Four solid practice sessions helped Daniel learn the track, and reigning series champ Phil Wang even reviewed GoPro footage with Demaras to get the rookie up to speed.
On Saturday, the temperature was rising. Many racers arrived overnight from Quebec, and the field of open-wheelers really filled up. Morning practice would be the only ‘clean’ session of the day without a yellow. Qualifying was nullified when the yellow flag (then the red) came out before most drivers even completed a lap. The Race 1 starting order was determined by practice times, relegating points leader Phil ‘the champ’ Wang to the back of the pack, having sat out the morning session. There was an intense battle in Formula 1200 for the first few laps, with cars aggressively chopping across the track. The inevitable contact occurred, wrecking one car (out for the weekend) and damaging the other. Demaras hung back, let the dust settle, and crossed the finish line P3.
Conditions on Sunday were heavy rain, lightning and standing water on the track. The race conditions that Formula Libre grid was sent out in was questionable. Several drivers commented that the race was just like the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix, where racers were sent out in undriveable conditions. A formation lap behind the pace car, then a long red flag session sitting in the pits with rain pouring down. When the race got started, there were maybe two laps of green flag running as hydroplaning and lack of visibility took its toll on the field, with multiple crashes. Demaras finished P4.
Of the 21 racers scheduled to compete in the Formula Libre final, there were 12 DNS (Did Not Star) and 1 DNF (Did Not Finish). Only three F1200s competed (two finished) as attrition took its toll. Even ‘the champ’ packed up and left.
Daniel and Chris headed back to Toronto in an attempt to arrive before sunset. With tickets to the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert at the SkyDome, nothing was going to make them miss the concert event of the year!
Except a horse.
Yup. When ol’ Glue Stick got loose, police were forced to shut down the Trans Canada Highway in both directions as locals tried (and failed) to wrangle the steed. But everything went as planned, the concert was incredible, and Demaras Racing got a chance to just be the Demaras family for a couple hours.
A special thank you from Demaras Racing to GH Photography for the incredible action shots. For anyone looking for an artist with a zoom lens in the Ottawa valley, call Glen at (613) 407-3346.