Trackside View of the Storm

Environment Canada has officially confirmed that an EF2 tornado was embedded within the leading edge of he line of thunderstorms in Ontario late Saturday morning. The storm tracked northeast over Southern Ontario, through Stouffville, reaching Ottawa on Saturday afternoon.

The agency said the tornado occurred at 1:15 pm on Saturday afternoon in Uxbridge and was found to have a maximum wind speed of 195 km/h.

The Demaras family spent years racing at Goodwood Kartways and are torn up at the sight of their home track. Daniel’s former racing rival, Jeff Conte, was at on track Saturday, and witnessed the damage firsthand. His GoPro even captured the moment the storm arrived at the track.

This was the view from the scales area when the storm rolled through. From the first raindrops hitting the kart until the two 20ft x 40ft tents got sent into the scale area and flattened was about 5 minutes. No serious injuries, medical was on-site to tend to the few cuts and bruises, karts and tents can be replaced people cannot.

No. 413, Jeff Conte

Go Fast in the Storm

Go Fast Photography has shot pictures for Demaras Racing both at Crazy Farm and at his regular haunt, CTMP. He was there shooting pictures for the Victoria Day Speedfest when the storm hi. Here’s the storm, in his own words:

I have never experienced anything like this storm. It came so fast, with 10 minutes of warning from an emergency alert. Shortly after I took the first photo, I was helping the Hyundai crew close up another side flap on their canopy, when the wind hit like a train. The canopy was lifted up and came crashing down around us and was tearing itself apart. One of their crew members grabbed me by the shirt and pulled us to cover between two trailers.

Once the worst of the winds died down, we rushed into the Hyundai. My cameras were sitting on the tool cart underneath the canopy during the worst of it, but I believe Connor Attrell went to rescue them just before we made it to their trailer. Extremely thankful to Hyundai Racing Canada crew for looking out for me and my equipment!

The storm wreaked havoc all across the park. The FEL SCCC series was devastated, with them cancelling the remaining races for Sunday. A few people were injured around the park, and I hope they are alright. From flipped campers, to most tents around the park being destroyed, trees uprooted, and tent poles impaled into cars and the ground, the park worked together to help clean up and get one last race in. The FEL ERCC series pulled together 10 radicals for no points race for the fans who braved the storm and stayed.

They say Motorsports is dangerous, I just never expected my closest call to be with Mother Nature!

Alex Smalley, GoFast Photography

Toronto Tornado

This weekend was Round 1 of the KartStars Canada series at Goodwood. Demaras Racing was not at the event, having moved on from kart racing in 2022. But many family friends and former rivals were at the race, which has seen bad weather in past years. But nothing like this.

At 1:30 pm, tornado level winds tore across southern Ontario, with Uxbridge and Stouffville particularly hard hit. At the track, tents were lifted skyward, karts flipped over onto drivers and toolboxes sent wrenches airborne as everyone at the track scrambled for cover.

Over at Mosport, the Victoria Day Speedfest was underway, with NASCAR Pinty’s Series cars preparing for qualifying.

Trees were uprooted, signs were blown down, and haulers were thrown around the paddock like a child’s toys. The storm had been tracked since noon when it blew in through Windsor and London, picking up speed and strength as it reached the GTA. But it arrived with such speed and ferocity, many were not prepared for the storm.

Races at Goodwood and Mosport were immediately suspended.

Scarboro Subaru Support

The Demaras family has a long relationship with Scarboro Subaru. Their list of cars starts with grandpa Bill’s 1986 XT, onto father Chris’ 1992 SVX and mom Alice’s 2006 Impreza and her 2014 Forester XT. Long before first-born Daniel daily drove his Bugeye, he received sponsorship and support from the Vigliatore family that runs the dealership.

Demaras dad and lad Chris and Daniel had the Scarboro Subaru colours on their karts and in their hearts while racing at Goodwood Kartways, and in some small way, hope that they helped introduce Vigliatore father and son Gaetano and Francesco to the track. But nobody expected this!

Right on time for 2022 KartStars Canada race at Goodwood Kartways this weekend, heavy advertising and promotion for the east end dealership now appears all around the kart track. The timing tower and flag stand bear the Six Star insignia, and drivers will line up at the Scarboro Subaru Starting Line.

The most impressive part is the Pit Lane. The timing tower and elevated podium now bear the Scarboro Subaru brand and each year will display top-line offerings from Fuji Heavy Industries, including the latest Subaru WRX.

The support Daniel received from Scarboro Subaru really had an impact on young Daniel. Not only does he daily drive that 2003 Impreza WRX, but he’s taken it out to race tracks such as Shannonville and Cayuga, Daniel even learned to rallycross it at the Crazy Farm. It’s quite amazing how much a little encouragement at an early age can create brand loyalty.

Letterman Racing?

David Letterman, co-owner of IndyCar team Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, seems strangely out of place behind the wheel.

In a clip from an tonight’s (Friday May 20 2022) appearance an David Letterman’s entertaining Netflix show ‘My Next Guest Needs No Introduction’ Billie Eilish takes Letterman for some spins around a K1 Speed go-kart track.

“I’m worried, because I’m elderly, and I just don’t want something to snap. Why don’t we go miniature golfing?”

David Letterman

As Eilish and Letterman suit up, a track marshal explains the rules (no bumping)but also notes that Eilish “…crashed into a couple people…” when she previously raced at K1 Speed. He warns the singer to “go easy” but Eilish bumps Letterman out of the way to pass him on track.

No. 33 Alzamend Neuro IndyCar

Ed Carpenter is the only owner / driver in IndyCar. Common back in the days of A.J. Foyt and Dan Gurney, handling both the responsibility of owning a own team and driving the car has become increasingly rare this century. The challenge of finding sponsorship for an endeavour as expensive as open-wheel racing is itself a full-time job.

At the 2022 Indianapolis 500, Ed Carpenter will drive the No. 33 Alzamend Neuro Chevrolet Dallara DW12, with its striking purple livery, reminding many of the R2ENDALZ race cars. BitNile, a shareholder of Alzamend Neuro Inc, has made a commitment to Carpenter to have the No. 33 compete as the Alzamend Neuro Chevrolet. Alzamend is a company focused on developing products for the treatment of neuro-degenerative diseases and psychiatric disorder with a primary target of Alzheimer’s disease. The company’s slogan is “Making Alzheimer’s Just a Memory”.

Ed Carpenter Racing dealt with struggles on track during the opening day of Indy 500 practice, as smoke could be seen emanating from the engine bay. But Alzamend didn’t select ECR to represent them because Ed gives up easy. After repairs, the car was back on track, the world’s fastest billboard promoting Alzheimer’s treatment.

2022 Honda Indy Toronto: Only Two Months Away!

Anyone hoping to get good seats for the 2022 Honda Indy Toronto better get moving! Turn 3 is pretty much sold out, so unless you’re willing to fork out $1,200 for the VIP Hospitality Suite, there aren’t many options left.

The first race since the 2019 Honda Indy Toronto is expected to be sold-out. Years of pent-up demand, and fans just wanting to return to ‘normal’ summer traditions, like watching the IndyCars speed down Lakeshore Blvd.

This year’s event has such a strong undercard. The festival of activities keep kids and casual race fans occupied. Everything from the Honda Junior Red Riders motocross experience to VR Racing on Free Friday.

For true race fans the schedule is packed with Porsche Carrera Cup and GT4 cars in the SCCC series, but the highlights are the NASCAR tin-tops, plus junior series in the Road to Indy, and of course, the Statdium Super Trucks!

The NASCAR Pinty’s Series a premier level motorsports division. Hotly-contested racing fuel Canada’s tremendous support for NASCAR. From road courses, street circuits and oval tracks across the country, it is truly Canada’s national series. 

The Road to Indy features some of the best up and coming competitors as they try to reach the pinnacle of open-wheel racing America. The Road to Indy races will include Indy Pro 2000 and the USF2000 Championship.

Stadium Super Trucks feature identically prepared high-horsepower trucks. The versatile off-road trucks race on virtually any surface, and will expose the great discipline of off-road racing to the masses.

With the F1200 schedule so well planned out in 2022, Demaras Racing will get a chance to be spectators at the race track for a change. Look for them in the Turn 10 grandstands; they’ll be the ones with the biggest smiles on their faces!

Mosport in 1967

After the track days and an F1200 race at CTMP, Daniel Demaras thought a lot about all the great drivers who’ve raced at Mosport in the past.

Proving that the internet is omniscient and can read your mind, the video below popped up in Demaras Racing’s YouTube feed; it’s the very first Canadian Grand Prix. Held at Mosport in 1967, the Formula 1 race alternated back and forth with Mont Tremblant for a couple years before then hosting the event for most of the 1970’s.

Post-Race Debrief

It’s been a week since his first F1200 race, and Daniel’s nose is still sunburned. Three days at the race track with the highs of race starts and the adrenaline dump of the checkered flag can be taxing. To keep sharp, the plan was to visit HIP and meet up with Coach Venditti to recap the race, and get some virtual practice laps.

Chris jumped into the driver’s seat of the Miata to drive out to Ajax. The roadster feels very much at home on Mosport’s sweeping corners, but this track car is incredibly uncomfortable on public roads.

Those adjustable coilovers that keep the car so well planted at Turn 5 are super-stiff. With very little ground clearance, even getting out of the driveway is a challenge. Daniel got tired of Chris redlining the engine every time they passed under a bridge, so he took over as ‘responsible’ driver.

When they arrived at HIP, the guys found Venditti was all business. He had the GoPro footage of Round 1 / Race 3 all queued up on the big screen, and he had reviewed it enough to find corners Daniel carved well, and where there was room for improvement.

One of the videos shot at CTMP that weekend reached 1,500+ views on YouTube, far more than the average 100 friends and sponsors who normally see Demaras Racing videos. But John is not here to boost anyone’s ego. His trained ear listened to the engine note, and could tell that Daniel was shifting too early on the back straight. John was here to coach.

Once the debrief was completed, Daniel strapped back into the Force Dynamics CR-401 Continuous Rotation Simulator, with iRacing’s Formula Vee loaded up at virtual CTMP. John settled into his rig and proceeded to conduct two hours of lead-follow exercises and passing drills to hammer home the lessons.

Chris and Daniel have been visiting HIP weekly since February, and John is updating the ‘cirriculum’ as the months have passed. Using the fine tuning available in the simulator, Venditti increased air / track temperature to better mimic the conditions Demaras will race in at the VARAC Vintage Grand Prix on June 16th to 19th and the Canadian Touring Trophy Races on July 23rd and 24th, both at CTMP.

With nearly 30 years of experience racing and coaching, John has the edge over Daniel, but the gap between them is diminishing every week.

Lonely in the parking lot, the 99 Miata dreams of its next track day at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. But for now, it’s back to the grind as a commuter car, shuttling Chris and Daniel back home to Toronto.