For Nathan Wilkie, Friday the 13th will probably be remembered as a lucky day. He got to enjoy a thrill-ride in a championship-winning formula car. The No. 12 MagiSeal / K1 Speed / Scarboro Subaru / F1200 car performed perfectly during the opening session of the day, and despite a steep learning curve, it was a champions drive.
Wilkie took victory in the ‘So, You Wanna Be A Racecar Driver?‘ charity go-kart race at K1 Speed months ago, and earned this moment. But the day was about to get much more difficult.
Nathan had made it through his first session in a open-wheel racecar. VMS team principal Bill Vallis took the body off the No. 12 Formula 1200 car to make sure the engine was running at full song before the second session.
Rather than just watching Nathan have fun, Daniel decided to follow him out on track in the No. 16 Miata. This wasn’t Daniel’s first time at Cayuga in the Mazda; he’d raced it in an Ontario Time Attack event earlier this summer. But this was definitely the first time Demaras Racing’s No. 12 and No. 16 were on the same track at the same time. What a thrill!
Daniel later said that a fellow Miata driver at the track day asked him if the paint scheme was famous; like the Martini Racing cars of the 70’s, or the Lotus cars of the 60’s. Daniel just laughed and told him the Miata was painted to match the Canadian Formula 1200 Championship winning car of 2023!
Rain started falling before the cars even made it out on track. Visibility was getting worse as sunset approached. But this was still a rare opportunity that couldn’t be missed.
The track became treacherous, and all that grip just vanished. Nathan would have to adapt quickly to the conditions, but unfortunately looped the car in Turn 1. It would take several laps for him to find the ‘rain line‘ and begin applying brakes and throttle much more gently. Sudden bursts of power on corner exit just lit up the rear tires.
Even Dawson Campbell got in on the action, putting down his camera and picking up his helmet. He gingerly climbed into the No. 16 MagiSeal Miata, and was duly warned by Daniel that the track was super-slippery, and that he needed to be careful at the final turn (near the pit wall). On his out-lap, Campbell slowed down so much in that corner, he even had time to wave to Chris and Daniel, reassuring them he’d gotten the message.
The “karts to cars” idea gets sold to naïve parents at the track every year. Moms and dads with visions of their kids making the jump from Arrive & Drive to Formula 1 get scammed out of their money by shysters with empty promises.
That’s why we came up with the ‘So, You Wanna Be a Racecar Driver?‘ event. As little kids, we want to grow up to be astronaut, cowboys or racecar drivers. Why not use that childhood dream for something positive, like a charity event? We’re just really thankful that K1 Speed allowed us to host the event at their facility, and we hope to do this again next year!