The VARAC Vintage Grand Prix is always a highlight of the racing calendar, and one of the biggest races of the Canadian Formula 1200 Championship. Competitors from across Canada and the northeastern United States converge on historic Mosport (CTMP) for four days of fast action.
A diverse cross-section of motorsports history is always displayed on and off track at the VGP including pre-war cars, American muscle, JDM machines and even vintage Formula 1 machines in past years.
Daniel and the VMS team arrived at the track on Thursday for practice, and late Friday qualifying seeded Demaras P2 for the first of four races over the weekend.
While the No. 12 MagiSeal Formula 1200 handled well, there were questions about engine power that would be answered in Race 1. Daniel felt quietly confident of his chances.
Daniel grabbed the lead at Turn 1, and battled hard with Tyson, Jason, Robert and Kenny, eventually finishing the race in second place.
But the questions about engine power that came up in qualifying were confirmed. The powerplant was bogging down in the corners, and VMS would have to work to find speed this weekend.
Over the weekend, Bill Vallis and Bill Davis would work on the carb, intake manifold, distributor and fuel pump to try and squash the gremlin robbing Demaras of speed. Driving coach Paul Subject had to give Daniel a reality check; that the team might not be able to ‘fix’ everything between sessions, and Demaras would have to fight with the car he had, not the car he wanted. Deal with it.
While preparing for Race 2, Daniel got a surprise visit from Chad Webster, former teammate at Professional Racing Ontario back in Daniel’s kart-racing days. In addition to recording his ‘The Racing Topic‘ podcast, Chad was handling play-by-play announcer’s duties at CTMP this weekend.
But once Daniel strapped his brain bucket on, it was all business. Check out the video below for full GoPro footage of Race 2 (despite missing sound for some technical reason).
The VMS team really hoped that the changes made to the engine would provide speed in the back straight, were Daniel was getting eaten up. But Daniel accepted the fact that anything short of a full engine rebuild meant he was likely fighting for second place this weekend; a hard reality to accept for a racer.
Starting from the outside of the first row of F1200 cars, Daniel once again stole the lead at Turn 1. Demaras was in the mix early, fighting against rivals, but a strong push from Robert Patterson dropped Daniel back to third place with only a lap to go.
Race video (both from Daniel’s car and Jason’s GoPro behind) showed a crazy last lap moment where Demaras made an attempt to pass Bob, got offline into the grey, and was headed straight at the pit-lane wall attenuator.
Finishing P3 behind his teammate, Demaras would have work to do to climb the podium in Race 3 and 4 on Sunday, the last day of the 2023 VARAC Vintage Grand Prix.