It’s been a long-time coming. For racers like Daniel Demaras who qualified for the K1 Speed e-World Championship back in 2019, the wait felt like forever. But over the past 4 years, the incredible facility called the K1 Circuit was built; the best outdoor, all-electric kart race track in the world.
The mountains surrounding the desert town of Winchester, California make for an incredible backdrop. There really is nothing to compare this track to. K1 Speed locations are indoor facilities, often in suburban locations. This place is on a different level!
K1 Speed Canada brought a full PR team with photographers, videographers and social media gurus. They came up with fun posts to help promote Team Canada’s assault on the USA.
During the weekend event, Daniel Demaras commented that being interviewed and photographed made him feel like a Formula 1 driver. All these folks listening to what he had to say was a change of pace for the 19-year-old student, who soaked up the experience with a smile on his face.
If competitors could just keep from taking everything too seriously (it wasn’t the Indy 500) then the overall vibe of the event was a good time. Veteran racer Brendan Radzely from the northeastern United States was stoked just to be mid-pack. He’d been to the first K1 Speed e-World Championship back in 2019, and knew he was up against some serious competition.
A key element of the event was its diversity. Racers of all ages and colours competing shoulder to shoulder; once the helmet goes on, there’s equality on the race track. And the number of female competitors was inspiring.
For Daniel Demaras, a highlight was getting to re-connect with his friend Antonio Arias from Puerto Rico. The two men shared the K1 Speed Championship podium four years ago (along with Peyton Phillips) and Antonio was one of four competitors in the Caribbean island’s armada of racers.
One of the most chilled, laid-back guys in the paddock, Antonio is a fierce competitor, but is quick with a smile and a joke, helping keep the mood light when those around him start vexing. The Demaras and Arias families spent the day hiding from the sun, sharing a canopy and a bunch of bananas.
To be brutally honest, the event did not go as smoothly as everyone had hoped it would. The K1 Circuit is not 100% complete, even though the track surface and curbs are ready, the buildings are still under construction. Some issues with electricity delayed the racing action as portable generators were brought in to charge the karts between sessions.
Thank goodness the Demaras family’s Maserati had a serious air-conditioner (and cooled seats) because the entire clan piled into the Italian rental car between track sessions to keep cool…and look cool doing it!