You’ve got to love IMSA. The Prototype racers are like spaceships. Four wheeled UFOs. If you didn’t know better, the picture of the Acura ARX-05 DPi above may as well be an aircraft.
The paddock at a sports car event is totally unlike IndyCar or F1. Everything is open. No barriers or extra cost passes. Although some teams, like Wayne Taylor Racing, do look deadly serious, Daniel Demaras managed to locate the ever smiling Helio Castroneves.
When you move down the grid to the GTLM and GTD cars, the mood is much lighter. The competition on the track is still ferocious, but it’s all smiles before the race. Some of the racers are a little older, and clearly Jan Magnussen, IMSA President Scott Atherton, and Chris Demaras all have the same barber.
TV crews and media were out in force, trying to get interviews with superstar drivers like Juan Pablo Montoya driving the Team Penske DPi.
But once the Weather Tech grid girls arrived, attention shifted the the variety of ice-cream coloured race cars at the GT end of the field.
With a rare weekend off from karting, Daniel Demaras and Chris Demaras took the weekend to enjoy the IMSA race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.
With plenty of racing over three days, there was no shortage of eye candy. But the highlight of the weekend was watching friend of the family, and professional race car driver James Vance, piloting his #23 Audi around the grand prix circuit.
Vance is a total class act. Once the race was over, he welcomed his young protégé Daniel into the paddock, introducing him to team management, and even letting Daniel sit in his “office”.
With Daniel Demaras on summer vacation from school, and the arrival of actual summer weather, he’s taking every opportunity to be at the track to run practice laps, shaving tenths of a second off his lap times.
With the Demaras family ready for another camping excursion this weekend, Chris and Daniel made one last stop at Goodwood. The track was reasonably busy with a mix of 2-stroke, 4-stroke, and arrive & drive karts. There was even a young fellow turning his first laps in kart No 88, He was all helmet and heart as the ‘big boys’ zipped past him.
Special thanks to Eric “The Champ” Gerrits who jumped in to help on short notice. Eric put Daniel through his paces, providing exceptional insights into Demaras’ racing line, helping turn the young racer into…a better racer.
At the Demaras house, every day is about racing in one way or another. Even during exams for Daniel, or the workweek for Chris, they find time for motorsports.
TRAK Race at Goodwood
Daniel competed in round 6 of the TRAK series at Goodwood Kartways, with Chris pitching in on wrenching duties.
Karts and monster trucks are opposite sides of the motorsports spectrum. But Demaras Racing never misses a chance to see controlled chaos when it comes to town.
Indoor Karting at K1 Speed
Crappy weather? No problem at K1 Speed. Chris and Daniel dropped by to turn some laps and try to set new fast times.
Practice at Goodwood
No school, no rain and no ‘arrive & drive’ events meant Daniel had the track to himself for 75 laps, before being joined by Santiago in the No. 33 cadet kart.
Chris Demaras heads out on track in search of speed and his first podium of the season.
Camping at Mussleman’s Lake has advantages. Demaras Racing’s garage K-12 at Goodwood is only 4 minutes away. But when Daniel Demaras found the team’s air tank empty, he had to suffer the embarrassment of carrying his little sisters inflatable turtle across the parking lot, where Big Brian held back his laughter long enough to fill up the pool toy.
Watching IMSA at the Campsite
A projector pointed at the tent, and a good wireless internet connection, allowed the Demaras family to watch their friend James Vance compete in the IMSA race at Watkins Glen. The week is complete!
After a few quiet weekends, action returned at Goodwood Kartways with a big event, the second round of the Inter-Club Challenge (the race was also TRAK Race 6). Drivers from TRAK and MIKA battling it out on track, starting with practice sessions.
The No. 12 PRO Intrepid Briggs & Stratton kart didn’t make it out on track Friday due to issued with the axle, caught early on by Curtis Fox. The team worked hard to fix the problem, and had the race kart ready for morning practice on Saturday.
Daniel went only 14th quickest, but after a debrief with data analysis Cole Hooton, Demaras was ready to go for qualifying.
Quali was a disappointing session, as Daniel tried to implement the changes his team recommended, but ending up 17th. Daniel went out for the pre-final with nothing to lose, starting way back in the pack. After making up four places off the start, Daniel had to go through the grass in Turn 4 to avoid spinning karts, costing him a few positions. Demaras drove on and made some solid passes, finishing 11th.
With some quick drivers out of position at the back of the pack to start the final, Daniel dropped a few positions, and never really found himself in a fight, finishing 13th in a quiet final.
“It wasn’t a great day, but it did feel good to go wheel to wheel, and to be making passes. It’s always a downer when people are getting around you, so being able to truly fight made the day an overall positive. On top of that, we didn’t break anything, so you’ve got to smile.”
Daniel Demaras No 12 PRO
Off track, the best part of the weekend was seeing old friends. Steve Diamant dropped by the PRO paddock before his Saturday Night CRKC race, and old sparring partner Anthony Garofalo provided Daniel with some words of wisdom: FULL SEND IT!