Although classified as IndyCar rookies this year, No. 48 Jimmy Johnson raced 686 times in NASCAR and No. 51 Romain Grosjean competed 179 times in Formula 1. On Friday before the IndyCar race at Laguna Seca, the two seasoned veterans swapped helmets as a sign of mutual respect, and friendship.
But Sunday on track, a charging Grosjean launched his car into ‘the corkscrew’ and absolutely body-checked Johnson out of his way on route to a podium finish. So much for mutual respect!
The 2021 Canadian federal election is tonight, with incumbent Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a tight battle against Conservative candidate Erin O’Toole, while the NDP’s Jagmeet Singh is poised to become the ‘kingmaker’ to help form a minority government, and the Green Party are fielding candidate Annamie Paul.
You know where the candidates stand on foreign relations, and their parties’ economic plans. But Demaras Racing wants to know about their cars. What vehicle a person chooses as personal transportation, both now as a national political figure or years ago when first starting out, tells a lot about an individual.
Here are the candidates.
Liberal Party: Justin Trudeau
The article Canada Elects a Car Guy As Prime Minister kind of puts Trudeau in an early lead. The first car Justin drove was an El Camino, later he bought a 1972 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE, drove a Volkswagen Jetta TDI while living in Vancouver, and also drove his late brother Michel’s old Ford Bronco. But the crown jewel in the Trudeau fleet is his father Pierre Elliot Trudeau’s 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL which Justin drove on his wedding day. Nice.
New Democratic Party: Jagmeet Singh
The man wears well tailored suits, has an extensive Rolex collection, but he’s always being seen on that silly bicycle! How do people take him seriously! Easy…just wait until he folds up the bike and pops it into the trunk of his red BMW coupe. Excellent choice, sir!
Conservative Party: Erin O’Toole
Apparently this guy used to fly helicopters in the Royal Canadian Air Force, but the closest we could find to a picture of him not being chauffeured around in a black car was a vinyl-wrapped campaign vehicle with the fuel filler in his pie-hole. Also, there’s some online attack ads implying O’Toole’s an old pickup truck, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Green Party: Annamie Paul
Not going to say anything negative about the Green Party as there is some support for this group within the Demaras Racing team. Expected to find images of Annamie driving a Prius or a Chevy Volt or something like that. However, their leader does not seem to share our love of motor vehicles.
Whatever your political leaning, get out there and vote today!
The 5th Round of the 2021 KartStars Canada series is this weekend. It marks the last big, regional event for the No. 412 kart. Demaras still has 3 more club races in the TRAK series to compete in between now and October. But Saturday marks the end of the racing calendar for many.
To give Daniel the best shot at racing glory, NBS Motorsports was tasked with preparing Demaras’ race motors. Engine builder Bonham worked his magic on one Briggs (the motor formerly named Skyler now stamped 412A) before the previous round at 3S Go-Karts in Sutton, and he produced 206 cc’s of fury that powered Demaras to a pole position and back-to-back podiums.
Now, the World Rally Blue, Subaru-inspired motor (formerly called Uniqua now badged Impreza and stamped 412B) has been ‘gone-over’ to unleash all the power available within the rules. Of note, the 412A was stripped down to the flywheel by inspectors twice at KartStars Round 4, passing tech.
Chris Demaras re-assembled the No. 412 kart (under the watchful eye of Trevor from Reeve Webster Racing) and prepared it for Saturday’s day-long race. Bearings were cleaned and greased, the clutch was removed and serviced, and the freshly-cleaned bodywork was bolted back on.
Goodwood’s Garage K12, the unofficial home-base of Demaras Racing, was cleaned and organized for the first time in…ever. The No. 412 sits ready, under its kart cover.
Track workers at Goodwood were seen installing new lighting at the podium. Although Goodwood Kartways ha been around ‘Since ’57‘ they continue to make real improvements in their facility this season. The Turn 1 wall is no longer the monster it once was. The new podium provides an excellent backdrop for parents/photographers. Enhanced lighting and video cameras are next up.
But first, the big Goodwood Night Race is ready to begin!
Considered by many as one of the greatest events of the year, the Night Race; KartStars Canada Season Finale promises to build on that reputation. Scheduled to take place on Saturday September 18th racing under the lights has been an annual tradition at Goodwood Kartways since 2009. The sights, the sounds, the atmosphere, everything is different under the lights and if you have never done it before you don’t want to miss it!
“We introduced the night racing format back in 2009 and it was an instant hit. The race continues to be a favourite for many avid karters and year after year we look to add value to this special day in hopes of going outside of the box to create something unique for karters to enjoy.”
TRAK President Daniel Di Leo
Di Leo was quick to point out that many other clubs have tried to simulate the Night Race concept but believes the Goodwood Night Race experience stands above the rest. The success of this event is owed to the Event Sponsors and supporters who go over and above to uphold the reputation of this unique race. This years edition will embrace the KartStars Canada program as some of the best kart racers from the province look to complete their season long championships.
Featuring a unique single-day format, KartStars Racers will get six on-track sessions for each class entered. Registration will open a bit later than normal as gates open at 10am. Following an 11:30am drivers meeting, practice, qualifying, two heat races, and a pre-final will fill the day all setting the stage for the Finals to be run after the Sunset Break. Add in an Outdoor Movie for Family and Friends to enjoy, a complimentary corn roast and a spectacular Fireworks show and this is one you don’t want to miss.
Keeping with tradition, LED lights mounted safely will be permitted. KartStars Junior and KartStars Senior will conclude the on-track activities in a true shoot-out format and the regular KartStars raffles will take place before the Fireworks. For the children, there will be a movie being played at the podium.
KartStars series run practice will be available on Friday September 18th from 10am-4pm. Large grids are expected. Visiting club members are always welcomed. Participants are encouraged to dress appropriately and plan ahead. Extra pit lighting is highly recommended.
Registration is Now Open. As always discounts on race tires, fuel and oil are available to those who pre-register, with the on-line platform set to close Thursday September 16th at 8pm.
Yesterday I went to K1 Speed for the first time in I don’t know HOW long with my two best friends Mia and Angeline. It was a total blast! We arrived and I decided to walk them around the place. I showed them everything from paddock to the bathrooms, but the real treat was the arcade. There was going to be a long wait before we raced, so we blew a ton of cash on arcade tokens for the claw machine! We got too many stuffies to count, and spent at least an hour over there.
The next while was pretty boring, since it was just waiting for our turn on the track, but we made the moment fun by making games with our new stuffies! My dad and his friend Max got their chance to go race while the rest of us got some food. Soon enough it was finally OUR turn to race!
We did a total of two drift races. Before the first one, I was actually getting a little anxious. I’m not Daniel, I have almost no race experience! But once we got going, I had a blast. From speeding past my friends who got stuck, to forgetting how to reverse, all of it was really exciting. I even finished first place!
The real fun happened in our second drift race. This time it was my friends, my dad and me! We were all spinning out at every corner, and I kept getting accidentally bumped into (dad!) which made it much harder. But it was super fun. The whole idea of Drift Night sounded great to me, and I’m really happy I went!
Another great thing about going to K1 is finally getting to present my kart-art project.
A few months ago, I crafted and spray-painted a cardboard go-kart as part of K1 Speed’s “Build Your Own Kart” contest. It featured a steering wheel held up by a pencil, tires made of DVDs, and two teddies inside! We bought new teddies, because I’m not letting go of my own teddy, Bamse! I worked super hard on it and I was ecstatic when I found out that I won the contest and was finally going to deliver it into the track!
That cardboard go-kart is now to be staying at K1 Speed PERMANENTLY!
Yes…my little spray-painted, teddy-bear driving go-kart is going to be on display at the front counter K1 Speed where everyone can see it. I’m so happy that we were able to display the project at the track, where it was meant to be. I hope that people who visit K1 Speed like it as much as I do!
Rolling into Downsview Park, you just knew something was different last night. The parking lot of the K1 Speed looked like a car show, and I lined up the WRX next to a pair of Subaru BRZs, one of them with Drift Queen decal in the window. I was definitely in the right place.
Drift Night at K1 Speed is zero competition but maximum enjoyment. It’s style points, like figure skating or monster trucks. Nobody cares about lap times on this night.
The ‘Clubspeed’ live timing app says my last visit to K1 Speed was September 28, 2020. Two weeks short of a year! Between CRKC and TRAK, I feel like I’m at a race track every weekend, but it’s usually Goodwood. Indoor karting is more something we do in the fall and winter. But I just couldn’t miss Drift Night. It’s too much fun.
My daughter Michelle, plus her friends Angeline and Mia, decided to take the plunge and try drifting. Michelle has raced at K1 before, but for her rookie-racer pals, it would be trial by tire!
The only member of the Demaras Racing family who wasn’t at the track was Daniel. He’s a serious student now that he’s at U of T. But, man, was he jealous when he found out New Speed Motorsports co-owner Max Preston was there! Max heard about the fun, grabbed his helmet, and drove down to the track to meet up.
Max is a championship-winning Shifter Kart driver who takes great joy in helping the next generation, like my son Daniel, become better racers. While this might seem odd, I actually have a poster of Max in my garage.
Lining up in front of Preston, I actually felt nervous. He said he hadn’t been to K1 Speed since the old days (when the track was called Grand Prix Kartways) and by comparison, I’ve raced at K1 681 times since they opened in Canada. I tried to look relaxed, but inside…I knew I was chum in the water for this shark.
Even in the drift race, Max gapped me by 3.128 seconds, but like I said nobody is keeping score! This night is just for fun.
On to the main event of the evening, the Power Trio of Angeline, Mia and Michelle. K1 Speed’s own Anthony R. took special care of the youngsters, making sure they were properly belted in, booster seats installed, with helmets that didn’t make the girls feel like bobbleheads.
When these young ladies attacked the track, it was scary. All the warnings about the lack of grip didn’t dissuade them from going flat-out right away. It didn’t take long for one of them to find the wall (not naming names here) and the crash sound reverberated deep into the girls ears.
K1 was really busy, and those that didn’t arrive early were faced with long delays. That’s what scarcity is all about Charlie Brown! It was great to see Dale and Logan (from 130R) and Christian and Sherri (from KGR) but I’m not sure if any of them got to drift race. Even Max had to call it a night. But not the East York Crew. Nope. They were ready for one more race, and I was lucky enough to drift against them.
All the hesitancy of the first session was gone, and when Michelle, Mia and Angeline got out on track after 9:00 pm (on a school night!) there was nothing I could do to keep up with them.
It’s today! Monday September 13th 2021, the drift karts will once again take to the track at K1 Speed at Downsview Park in Toronto. It’s been months since racers had a chance to try out this unique twist on traditional karting. It’s all slip and no grip!
The electric karts are modified with the addition of “drift slicks” that sends those rear wheels sliding all across the track. Racers looking to channel Han Seoul-Oh will enjoy throwing the car sideways into the turns.
Make sure to visit K1 Speed Toronto at 75 Carl Hall Rd inside Downsview Park. No reservations needed, as the drift karts are first-come first-serve basis from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm only.