In early November, the annual Formula 1200 Drivers Association awards banquet was held in Toronto’s west end. It’s an opportunity at the end of the season to put aside on track rivalries, share a drink, and celebrate accomplishments of the drivers, mechanics and team owners.
Last year, Daniel Demaras took home ‘Rookie of the Year‘ honours, along with third in the championship. This year would be even more special. It really was a red-letter day for the Vallis Motor Sport team
The VMS team’s lead mechanic, Bill Davis, was awarded ‘Mechanic of the Year’ by the Formula 1200 Drivers Association, a well deserved recognition for keeping three F1200s on track every weekend. Phil Wang read a short speech honoring Bill Vallis induction into the ‘Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame‘.
In the F1200 Masters category, Bob Patterson was recognized as tops in the category over Robert Sombach. Kenny Bui took third in the overall F1200 championship, while Jason Abrams took home second place and the ‘Rookie of the Year’ trophy.
For the first time in 15+ years, a Vallis Motor Sport driver even took the Overall Championship.
On the strength of his four wins and two pole positions, Daniel Demaras was crowned as the 2023 Canadian Formula 1200 Champion. For 20-year-old Demaras, winning an open wheel racing championship in only his second season was more than he could ever have dreamed of.
Daniel’s family were on hand to see him receive his awards which included his championship trophy and custom F1200 Champions jacket, courtesy of EPIC Racewear The FTDA Overall Champion Plaque listing all the winners since 1993 will be on display in Daniel’s trophy case for the next 364 days.
A special award was presented this season, with roots dating back to the 1980s. The Vallis-Watral Award is presented to a F1200 Motorsport Member who exemplifies the characteristics of competitive integrity and helpfulness. For his promotion of F1200 in Canada, assistance with the FTDA booth at Motorama and arranging a F1200 test drive as part of the ‘So You Wanna Be A Race Car Driver‘ fundraiser, the award was presented to a very shocked Chris Demaras.
Bill Davis explained that the centrepiece of the trophy isn’t abstract art; it’s actually broken spindles from a FV race car, painted, plated and mounted on a sturdy oak base (courtesy of The Plant People’),
Demaras was truly honored to receive the recognition of his efforts, and was pleased that his loving wife was present to see him receive this trophy. While Alice teased Chris for getting the ‘best YouTube videos‘ award, it should be noted that she immediately sent pictures of her husband’s achievement to her family back in Denmark.
After a great racing season that saw Daniel compete in open-wheel and stock cars, Chris compete in Ontario Time Attack and ‘King of the Hill‘ against Daniel, the Formula 1200 awards night really was a red-letter day for the Demaras family