One Of A Kind

Subarus aren’t the rare cars. The AWD machines are quite popular in Canada, and sometimes you’ll find your twin in a parking lot, as Alice Demaras found out back in 2012 when she was driving her first Impreza.

Nearly ten years later, Daniel Demaras had the same experience. Pulling into the parking lot of NoyzBoyz Performance Exhaust on in Scarborough, an identical 2003 WRX was waiting.

OK, ok…a blue bugeye isn’t a rare machine, but the car is nearly 18 years old and there aren’t that many around any longer. You figure you’ll at least be a one-of-a-kind special snowflake in the parking lot!

Honda Indy Toronto 2021?

When people around the world think of Toronto, two things immediately come to mind; the late, great Mayor Rob Ford and the Honda Indy Toronto. Over the past few years, the city has lost both.

In 2020 the race was cancelled due to ‘the virus’, and recently the City of Toronto announced the cancellation of all major in-person events until July 1st 2021. This includes Canada Day celebrations, the Toronto Marathon and the Jazz Festival. But an article on RACER points out that the Honda Indy Toronto may avoid being axed by local COVID restrictions. IndyCar’s lone Canadian race is scheduled for July 9th to 11th, just past the date restrictions have been extended to.

It’s worth noting that Toronto Mayor John Tory’s press release did not include the Honda Indy Toronto in the list of major events whose event permits have been cancelled. Race promoter Green Savoree Race Promotions is rumored to have special permission to begin construction of the temporary street circuit in the month leading up the the big race.

The Toronto street race has been an almost annual event since 1986 and reportedly generates over $50 million in revenue for the local economy. Daniel Demaras and Chris Demaras have attended the race in its different guises such as the (CART) Molson Indy, (CCWS) Steelback Grand Prix and the (INDYCAR) Honda Indy Toronto. There’s two fans who are really hoping the event returns for 2021.

Acid

There’s nothing actually wrong with the wheels Daniel’s WRX came factory-equipped with. The split-spoke, 16″ aluminum wheels are pretty sharp looking.

But it looks like it’s been over a decade since anybody bothered cleaning the brake dust off these rims! There’s nothing wrong with the wheels…except they’re pretty rough. But since the plan is to keep this car original, Chris and his father Bill decided to try cleaning the wheels with flesh eating acid.

Hydro fluorohidric acid is scary stuff, but combine it with phosphoric acid, and the stuff has incredible properties. It cuts through brake dust embedded in aluminum wheels incredibly well. Crank up the pressure and temperature on the portable steamer, and years of debris just melts away.

Looks like Daniel has only three more wheels to go!

Subtle Branding

Red is the official racing colour of Italy, and just happens to be the same colour as a pack of Marlboro cigarettes. As Scuderia Ferrari’s number one sponsor, Philip Morris International wants to make sure that the race cars they support display their corporate colours, even if overt branding of cigarette brands is prohibited. PMI has come up with some creative ways to skirt the rules over the years. The ‘bar code’ logo was a creative interpretation of the Marlboro brand, but ‘Mission Winnow’ was on a completely different level. PMI fabricated a company with no products/services, but who’s brand looked suspiciously like Marlboro’s. Genius.


The Russian company behind the 2021 Haas F1 car is not so subtle.

As punishment for Russia’s transgressions (state-sponsored doping and cover-ups) during the 2014 Olympics, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) ruled that all Russian athletes are prohibited for competing under their national flag. Russian athletes will be deemed ‘independents’ and will not have their national anthems played at podium ceremonies. There is little chance that F1 rookie Nikita Mazepin will be anywhere near a podium this season, so playing his national anthem won’t be a problem. After all, the new 2021 Hass F1 car is just a repainted 2020 Haas F1.

However, Nikita’s dad is Russian billionaire Dimitri Mazepin. He owns URALKALI, one of the largest potash fertilizer producers in the world. Dimitri didn’t appreciate WADA’s ruling impacting his kid. So, he bought all the sponsorship space on the side of the Haas F1 car to promote his businesses, and encouraged the F1 team to switch from their traditional red, white and grey to red, white, and blue.

“No, we didn’t circumvent anything. Obviously we cannot use the Russian flag as the Russian flag, but you can use colours on a car. In the end, it’s the athlete which cannot display the Russian flag and not the team. The team is an American team.”

Gunther Steiner, team principal Haas F1

Very American!

Slightly Used Subaru

For the average car buyer, a modified WRX STi is something to be avoided. A slammed and straight piped Subaru might look cool…but who knows what the vehicle has endured in its lifetime.

Case in point; Ken Block’s 2002 WRX has not only competed in rallies, but even jumped a world record 171 feet. The 2002 Impreza has been upgraded with stylish “hawkeye” headlights from ’05 to ’07 Subarus. You could say the car has been ‘garage kept’ as Ken Block does have a climate-controlled race shop in Utah. Estimates are the car will fetch north of USD $200,000 with a portion of proceeds going to the Make-A-Wish foundation.

Anyone in the market for a slightly used Subaru should consider this car. Despite the fact that a modified car will usually bring a lower price than a factory original…but this one is special.

In the Mail

A letter from Goodwood Kartways arrived today at Demaras Racing headquarters. It was the sign-up sheet and calendar for this year’s CRKC ‘arrive & drive’ series.

Way back in 2014, dad and lad Chris and Daniel visited the Canadian International Auto Show. Daniel was like a moth to a lightbulb when he saw the racing simulator in the Goodwood booth. After spending what seemed like hours there, Chris signed up the two of them to compete.

Fast forward the better part of a decade; after winning two CRKC Championships, Daniel moved up to club racing where he won a TRAK Championship. Chris found his sweet spot and is now a veteran of the ‘rookie’ series.

Chris Demaras will attend the open house days at Goodwood this weekend to see what the track looks like now that the snow has melted.

Speedway Vaccinations

Human interest articles or ‘feel-good’ stories are hard to find some days. But motorsports can always be counted on to make people smile.

News broke today that the latest mass vaccination site in Indiana will be at the corner of 16th and Georgetown in Indianapolis. That’s right…residents of the speedy state will be able to get their shot of the vaccine at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Shots will be administered between March 5th and 7th (this weekend) and in the spirit of the Indy 500, drivers will stay in their car during the vaccine pit-stop.

Drivers will head into the Formula 1 pits for the injections, before speeding through Turn 1 and into the parking lot to pit for 10-15 minutes before being cleared to head back out onto public roads. With such a huge facility accustomed to handling massive crowds, the hope is that many residents will be vaccinated…allowing some to return as spectators for the upcoming Indy 500!

Parts Made in Japan

Nothing says JDM like a big, American pickup truck parked in front of Japan Direct, the GTA’s best source for original parts for Japanese classics.

Getting the classic WRX on the road is going to take some work; and it’ll need more than a fresh set of tires. Mechanically, the car is sound, but there’s body work, interior detailing and (the only concession to modern times) replacement of the factory cassette player with a Kenwood radio with an 8″ screen and a backup camera. Since the body shop will be the next step in the restoration process., a trip to Japan Direct was in order.

The front bumper on the WRX is gone, cracked and repaired more than once, it’s time for a replacement. Don’t worry. The JPD parts supplier has everything you could need.

The size and scope of Japan Direct, located at 1591 Matheson Blvd in Mississauga, is stunning; engines, transmissions, hoods, fenders, wheels, coilovers and original Japanese-market-only parts. If there’s a JDM item you need, this shop has a dozen of them. And if they sold out of the OZ Racing gold wheels you had your eye on…there will be another container of cars arriving from the far east in another month.

In advance of driving out to Mississauga, Chris spoke with proprietor Noor, who mentioned a right-hand drive 2003 WRX STi with an air intake on the roof that the Demaras Racing team could look at for inspiration. A couple hundred dollars later, Daniel and Chris loaded up the new-to-them parts in the pickup truck and headed across the 401 to the body shop.

KartStars Schedule Highlights

A closer look at the historic tracks that KartStars Canada will visit this year…with a surprise announcement for Round 3 expected soon!


R1.) Goodwood Kartways

The longest standing kart track operating in Canada, Goodwood Kartways began hosting races in 1957 and has helped produce some of Canada’s greatest racing heros. Now home to both the largest kart club and Arrive-and-Drive programs in the country, Goodwood is truly the home of karting in Ontario and the Di Leo family is excited to once again kick off the regional racing campaign and welcome all drivers, teams and families back to the track.


R2.) Point Pelee Karting

Leamington, Ontario, produced a hidden gem of the sport in the late nineties: Point Pelee Karting. Designed with drivers in mind, PPK is one of the best kept secrets in the province, and yet another great track run by great people. It’s a challenging layout built to CIK/FIA standards that has refined the skills of karting champions of the past and present. A multi-time champion himself, Jason Papp has been at the operational helm since 1998, and his team is very excited to welcome present day KartStars.


R4.) Shannonville Motorsport Park

The Bear Hunt Returns! Long the most cherished award in Canadian karting, a win at Shannonville earned a driver a ‘Bear’ for decades. This year the tradition resumes, as KartStars will contest its National Championship event in mid-August. A new ownership group at Shannonville is transforming the venue and that includes track improvements prior to this year’s visit as part of their renewed commitment to karting. The track produces the highest speeds in Canadian karting, but every verteran will tell you it takes much more than that to trap a Bear!


R5.) 3S Go-Karts

When the pandemic postponed a PPK home date last season, the finale was relocated to another provincial track steeped in history: 3S Go-Karts in Sutton, Ontario. The historic track located just outside the gates of Sibbald Point Provincial Park was the longtime home of the fabled 3S Birel team, an international karting force that racked up countless regional and national wins. This year it will see KartStars Champions crowned, as season two comes to a close.


For more information on KartStars Canada please visit www.kartsportcanada.ca  or contact info@kartsportcanada.ca.

KartStars Set For Another History Making Season

A year ago at this time the operations team at KartSport Canada was thrilled to introduce its new vision for karting, as they looked to the past in shaping the future. The programme was well planned with staging for the season-opening event well underway when – enter a global pandemic. All in motorsport were then forced to pump the brakes, yet from the darkest of days came an opportunity to shine bright. The team rallied to produce a four-event debut campaign, one that was very well received by the karting community.

“Even now, I’m still extremely proud. Implementing a new programme is challenging enough, but to do so when safety guidelines were changing from week to week or even day to day, that really allowed all involved to demonstrate the depth of their knowledge and experience while producing safe, sound events, that were run responsibly and with the karter in mind. As was often stated last year, we were very thankful for the support from the karting community and the KartStars participants. They’re the ones that truly make the sport go, and they came together to make a great season happen.”

Daniel Di Leo, KartStars Canada promoter

With such an understanding remaining at the forefront of all planning into 2021, KartStars Canada has primed its second season, the fourth ROK Cup Canada Schedule to run North of the border. History will once again run through a schedule that starts at Goodwood Kartways and ends at 3S Go-Karts, but now sandwiched in between is the granddaddy of them all: Shannonville Motorsport Park and the Bear Hunt. The event will also double as the KartStars Canada National Championships, and as the date is free of conflict with all other schedules in the region, it is an event that should not be overlooked.

Point Pelee Karting will also get its much anticipated first KartStars date, along with another round yet to be determined. Once again race dates are spread evenly throughout the calendar, with one event each month from May through September. ROK Cup Canada and Briggs & Stratton racers will combine to create twelve championship classes at KartStars events, with a similar prize structure to last season – and hopes drivers can actually travel to the ROK Cup SuperFinal at South Garda Karting this time around.

Additional details and full prize package information will be released in the weeks and months ahead, but the dates can be entered into your calendar now, and you can definitely get ready to race!


2021 KartStars Canada Schedule

  • Round 1 – Goodwood Kartways, May 29-30
  • Round 2 – Point Pelee Karting, June 26-27
  • Round 3 – Venue TBD, July 24-25
  • Round 4 – Shannonville, August 14-15 (National Championships)
  • Round 5 – 3S Go-Karts, September 4-5