More Body Work

Progress isn’t pretty.

A never-installed OEM fender for the front right corner. Replacement JDM bumpers with aerodynamic enhancements. Subie-Savers patch panels for the rear fender arches and rocker panels. That’s really only half the story. As mentioned in a previous post, there isn’t a straight panel on this car. It’s had a rough life.

Updates coming soon…

Kart4Kids 2021

Demaras Racing wants to take a moment to shine some light on Kart4Kids Pro-Am Kart Race which raises funds for Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.

Kart4Kids has been able to provide Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital with “Angel Eyes” cameras so families can watch inside the patient rooms when they aren’t at the hospital, a Sonosite Ultrasound to help with accurate placement of IVs in babies, a Giraffe Omni Bed for NICU patients as well as a Transport Tecotherm device, three portable EEG units and one ECMO unit.

IndyCar racer Sebastien Bourdais headlined the event with sports car ace James French also competing. A group of nearly 40 amateur kart racers signed up to compete against the pro drivers in the endurance race. A schedule conflict with Indianapolis 500 testing taking place this weekend kept some drivers away, but previous participants such as Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan still sent their support.

NSM Monster Truck

With spring training at Goodwood Kartways cancelled, and the 2021 racing season delayed, there wasn’t much to do this weekend. So, Chris Demaras decided to add a custom made New Speed Motorsports decal to the rear fenders of his pickup truck.

Instead of being jealous of Daniel’s No. 412 NSM kart or Anthony’s NSM Pinty’s Series NASCAR, Chris really feels like part of the team now with the NSM Monster Truck.

An Extra $6 Million

With only 2 months to go until the 2021 Canadian Grand Prix is scheduled to take place in Montreal, the owners of Formula 1, Liberty Media, are demanding answers about the event…and more.

Under current health restrictions, the Canadian Grand Prix could theoretically run as planned on June 13th, 2021, but without race fans in the stands. According to a report in Montreal newspaper La Presse, Formula 1 is demanding an additional $6 million to cover the losses of local promoter Octane Racing Group should the race go on without an audience. The $6 million would cover revenue usually generated at the box office.

Octane Racing Groups has received criticism in the media, including by the CBC and the Globe and Mail, for not yet issuing refunds to some 2020 Canadian Grand Prix ticket holders…nine months after last year’s race was cancelled.

Francois Dumontier, president of Octane Racing Group, is also the boss of Canada’s national motorsport authority as delegated by the FIA the Groupe de Development Sportif

Circuit Mont-Tremblant

Lawrence Stroll has put Quebec’s historic Circuit Mont-Tremblant up for sale. The historic track was opened in 1964 as a direct competitor to Ontario’s established Mosport International Raceway. Mont-Tremblant hosted the Canadian Grand Prix in 1968 and 1970, went through several ownership changes before being purchased by Canadian billionaire Stroll in 2000, when his son Lance was only 2 years old. The track has since been completely resurfaced, has a new timing tower, and upgraded medical facilities that make the circuit quite suitable for international level sportscar races.

In 2010, a state-of-the-art kart racing track was built inside the famed circuit, and hosted the Canadian Karting Championships. That year, Marco DiLeo of Goodwood Kartways fame, qualified fastest of 49 racers in Rotax Max, Antonio Serravalle was the fastest in Rotax Micro Max, Zachary Claman Demelo beat the competition in Rotax Mini Max and in Rotax Max Junior none other than Ferrari Academy driver Lance Stroll took the win.

In the decade since, the track has not exactly been a hot-bed of racing activity. The Nissan Micra Cup raced there, and the karting track is still active (scheduled to host the Canada Open in 2021) but Mont-Tremblant also served as the Stroll private track, providing a facility for young Lance Stroll to develop as a driver, eventually reaching F1 in 2017.

The local municipality values the track at $8.5million but the true market value may be much higher. The site totals 304 acres and provides a potential buyer the opportunity to run a fully-equipped race track or convert the area into a residential subdivision.

Concerned

A well-established karting track in Florida has permanently closed…and racers in Canada should be concerned. This wasn’t some dusty old concession kart track with mini golf and batting cages.

Ocala Grand Prix was a a top-tier facility with national level ROK Cup USA events. Yet in these challenging times, the track is being torn down to put up… a storage facility. In his CKN article, Cody Schindel explained that the town of Ocala has become centre for equestrian sports, and the size of the track will allow it to provide ample RV parking for well-funded horse people.

One would imagine that such a well respected track would still be profitable and sustainable. Ocala Grand Prix has hosted many rounds of the Florida Winter Tour over the past two decades, and this year, the new generation of racers like New Speed Motorsports‘ Rocco Simone even competed there.

In an interview published on eKartingNews, OCP’s owner explains:

“…It is a sad day for karting but something that must happen to make a viable business. With the karting industry, both race and rental sides evolving and changing every year, it is not easy to stay ahead of the game. My team and I have worked tirelessly but have come to the conclusion that it is time for a change. This is about business, money-in versus money-out…”

Jorge Arellano, OGP

When racing resumes in May, it is critical that Ontario racers head out to the track. Join a karting club and run the full schedule. Sign up for a regional series and visit tracks one may never have raced at before. Head out to a big track for a once in a lifetime experience in an Italian supercar. If motoring enthusiasts do not support tracks during these challenging times there won’t be many tracks left. Some smart race track owners might throw in the towel and transform the area into a residential subdivision. Just one big Smart Centre next to a planned community. But don’t worry, there will surely be a storage facility for all the stuff people buy at Costco.

Get out there and race!

New 2021 Intrepid Kart

Earlier this week, just before the suspension of motorsports in Ontario, Chris Demaras made the usual drive up the DVP to Goodwood Kartways. Chris had appointment with Marco to pick up the new kart Daniel Demaras would be racing in the 2021 Toronto Racing Association of Karters series.

Besides the all-white kart, Marco had prepared more than a dozen karts for pick up from new and returning racers. The season was 100% ready to start before the provincial stay at home order put the brakes on everything.

The new kart is an evolution of last year’s chassis design, though slightly narrower, and with a vastly improved braking system. Daniel’s kart in particular is a mash up of OTK sidepods on titanium crash-bars, plus an Intrepid nosecone and fairing. Even the steering wheel spokes have been re-profiled to better fit the MyChron 5 timer.

In automobile manufacturing, a “Body In White” refers to a stage in assembly where the body and frame are joined together before painting (and usually before the engine, glass, door handles, seats, upholstery). So, it’s not totally accurate to use the term referring to this kart, but it does make sense. Because it will never look this white again!

Stashed away in Garage K-12, the new kart is ready to race. Chris even picked up extra spindles and steering columns, just in case.

Meanwhile, in Florida…

In Quebec there’s an 8:00 pm curfew, and in Ontario a ‘stay-at-home’ order. Great tracks like Circuit ICAR near Mirabel, PQ, and Point Pelee Karting in Leamington, ON, are silent. While the Canadian karting season is on hold, for the second year in a row, because of ‘the virus’, there are members of the public who believe there should be no restrictions, no shutdowns or other government mandated safety measures. These folks live in Florida.

Our young New Speed Motorsports teammate Rocco Simone will compete on Sunday at AMR Motorplex (in the Homestead – Miami region of Florida). Simone will be racing the No. 195 in both the IAME Micro Swift and Briggs & Stratton LO206 Cadet class.

GOOD LUCK ROCCO!

Back at the Body Shop

The ’03 Bugeye is up on the hoist at the body shop. The car has come so far since that test drive in February. Now in excellent mechanical condition, plated and insured, it’s almost ready to his the road.

Except for the fact that there isn’t a single straight panel on the car! The wax-crayon circles on the doors, fenders hood and trunk identify every dent and sing on the body. Tony at Scarboro Subaru found a new-old-stock OEM fender to replace the rusted out aftermarket one on the car now, while Japan Direct supplied the replacement front and read bumpers. But this car is going to need a lot of hours to make it beautiful again.

Stock, unmodified 2003 WRXs are quite rare in 2021. It’s not just the age of the car that makes them hard to find. It’s that so many have been thrashed and crashed, the number of cars left is dwindling. Some might say that this WRX was not a good candidate for refinishing, being in such rough shape. But the body shop has experience repairing vehicles that there simply aren’t parts for. Sometimes the only way to fix it is to bring out the hammer and dolly and start working the sheet metal.

Or get one of those classics around the shop to teach the WRX the restoration trick from 1983’s Christine.

Chance of IndyCar Racing in Toronto

Canadian motoring enthusiasts only have a couple big events to look forward to each summer.

The Formula 1 race in Montreal is still scheduled for June 13th 2021, but with schools, restaurants, and non-essential businesses closed, it’s unclear whether the event will occur. News recently broke of IMSA cancelling the big sports car race on July 2nd 2021, the event location switched from Mosport to Watkins Glen. Closer to home, the IndyCar race in Toronto is currently scheduled for July 11th 2021, but with the Ontario government triggering a stay at home order until early May, it’s unclear whether the event will go off as planned either.

Green Savoree Racing Promotions is still trying to hold the race in Toronto this year in the face of insurmountable odds. The City of Toronto has cancelled all major event permits until July 1st 2021. Although the Honda Indy Toronto is scheduled for after the moratorium ends, nearly a month of construction to set up the temporary street circuit is required. This would require the city to give the promoter special permission to construct the track at the same time that businesses are closed and locals can’t even visit a local go-kart track.

Our family at Demaras Racing sees no better way to jump start the local economy and bring joy back to the city of Toronto than going ahead with the IndyCars in 2021.