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Stepping into Motorsports

Hi! I’m Michelle Demaras, #29, and I am the newest and youngest and bestest member of the Demaras Auto Racing Team!

Last weekend I drove my first motorized vehicle when I was at the IndyCar race at Exhibition Place!

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I drove a 50 CC Honda dirt bike! I entered a little program called the Junior Red Riders (JRR). They taught me and a few other kids how to ride a dirt bike, with tips like “Don’t go too hard on the gas!”. I got to go about 10 laps, and I fell down twice. Despite falling down, I think it was really fun and I did really well!

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Then on Wednesday I went to K1 Speed.

It’s an indoor go-karting track. I did a race with my big brother Daniel. My first lap took 120.446 seconds, but as I went along, I got more comfortable, and my fastest lap was 62.939 seconds! Then I did a second race. Before the first race, I was really scared! But before the second race I was calm. I was completely focused and ready. My fastest lap of all was 39.359 seconds!

I remember that in one of the sharp corners, I crashed into the wall because I didn’t turn enough. But I was able to drive out of the corner without even using the reverse button! So, I think I did really well with go-karting and I might start doing some more racing!

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Michelle #29 Demaras

What to See and Do at #indyTO

The Honda Indy Toronto is much more than a street circuit for hardcore gearheads. It has grown into a three day festival of speed for the whole family. The Demaras Auto Racing Team will be spectators this weekend with Daniel #7 Demaras, Chris #16 Demaras, and newest team member, 8-year-old Michelle “The Rookie” Demaras.

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Important Pick-Up Information:

Rookie Racers Backpacks will be available during event hours in Salon 109 of the Enercare Centre. Please bring valid photo ID for pick up. ID must match the name of the purchaser (parent). Rookie Racers must wear their Rookie Racers Credential to be able to participate in activities.

Race Weekend Activities Include:

  • Friday, July 13th – Scavenger Hunts! First FIVE Rookie Racers receive a prize!
  • Saturday, July 14th @ 10AM – Meet and Greet and Paddock Tour with DEForcing Racing Team! Meet us at the Mazda Road to Indy trailer next to the Verizon IndyCar Paddock.
  • Saturday, July 14th @ 2PM – Q&A Session with ProMazda Driver, Parker Thompson! Meet us at the Presentation Room in the Enercare Centre.
  • Sunday, July 15th @ 2:15PM – High five ALL the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers (including your favourite!) before they head off to race for the #indyTO trophy! Meet us at Salon 103.

Rookie Racers Kit Includes:

  • Welcome Letter from the President
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Tim Hortons Rookie Racers T-Shirts
  • Rookie Racers Souvenir Credential
  • Honda Sunglasses
  • Honda Junior Red Riders Socks
  • IndyCar Colouring Pages (including crayons)
  • CAA Emoji Squishy toys
  • NASCAR Acceleration Nation Activity Books
  • NASCAR Pinty’s Series Decals
  • Ontario Grain Farmers Squishy Cars
  • Cooper Tires  backpack, earplugs, lanyard and hat
  • Meridian Piggy Banks
  • Powerade bottles

 

Sign

Autograph Sessions:

FRIDAY (in the EnerCare Atrium)

  • 11:00AM-11:30AM – USF2000
  • 11:45AM-12:15PM – Indy Lights/ProMazda
  • 12:30PM-1:30PM – IndyCar Series

SATURDAY (in the EnerCare Atrium)

  • 12:00PM-1:00PM – NASCAR Pinty’s Series (at Yokohama Trailer)
  • 3:15PM-3:45PM – Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada

 

Sports

The Honda Speed Zone is an area filled with kid- focused activities and fast-paced fun, including interactive games from Toronto’s favourite sports teams, Hockey slap shot zone, Golf practice swing zone, Toronto Blue Jays baseball batting cage, inflatables, Complimentary Cotton Candy, Snow Cones and Popcorn presented by Honda. The Honda Speed Zone is a segment of Thunder Alley, alongside other interactive contests and exhibits from event partners, food trucks and vendors and fan merchandise.


 

Cooper

Cooper Tires Stage Q&A Times:

  • Friday: 3:20pm – ArmsUp Motorsports’ Max Peichel and Dakota Dickerson
  • Saturday: 3:15pm – Exclusive Autosport drivers Igor Fraga, Danial Frost, Parker Thompson and Antonio Serravalle
  • Sunday: 2:30 pm – Andretti Autosport’s Dalton Kellett

 

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Honda World, located at the heart of the Honda Indy Toronto street course is home to many fan favourite activities include face painting, racing simulators, video walls, Ontario Science Centre’s Van de Graaff generator a unique photo opportunity with a replica James Hinchcliffe show car. Honda World also presents kids aged 6 to 12 the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of dirt biking with the return of the Honda Junior Red Riders program.


CAACAA Members, don’t forget to visit us inside the Enercare Centre and visit the Member’s only lounge. Come inside from the heat and cool off at our relaxing lounge that will feature comfy lounge seating, free giveaways, an on-site contest to win 2019 tickets and more! We’re located inside the Enercare Centre in the main hallway just outside the entrance to Exhibit A.

 


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Lake Shore Straightaway: 

Stretching most of the way down the north side of the high-speed Lake Shore Boulevard straightawaythere is a stretch of shady grass to stretch out, and cool off while you relax and focus on the race. This is the fastest area of the track providing fans with a view of cars at their top speeds.  Although this spot is a fair distance from the main gate, it is ideally situated in front of Thunder Alley. Arriving early to secure a spot in this shady area is recommended.

Pinty’s Pub & Grill

Located next to Gate 1 and the Princess Gates, the Pinty’s Pub & Grill provides an awesome outdoor pub patio atmosphere with a great sightline of the IndyCars as they approach the first turn on the racetrack!  This family-friendly spot is ideal for anyone looking to satisfy their hunger without missing a moment of the race. This section is also an accessible area!

Miller Lite Deck

Located near thunder alley and turn 4 the Miller Lite Deck provides an excellent location to sit back and relax on a raised platform and watch the cars as they come out of turn 4 and into turn 5. The Miller Lite Deck is also wheelchair accessible, has food options and TV’s so you won’t miss any of the on-track action!

Pro Racers at CRKC 4 Wednesday

Daniel and Chris headed up to Goodwood for a CRKC event, a busy night with 12 groups of 8-10 drivers. The regular crew like Nathan Powell and his dad Don Powell were present, so it was going to be a battle for the Demaras racers.

Daniel was quick, setting solid times, but getting stuck behind slower traffic, Daniel only managed to qualify 3rd.

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With the NASCAR Pinty’s Series running support for the Honda Indy Toronto on July 13th to 15th, professional racecar driver James Vance arrived at Goodwood to have some fun and race in the CRKC race. The driver of the No.1 CBRT Dodge Challenger arrived with pals James French from the IMSA Sportscar Championship and SCCA Pro Racing Mazda MX-5 Cup racer George Jackson.

While Vance was quick, French was taking his friend’s new NASCAR gig to heart, bumping other karts, and even climbing up on the rear bumper of a competitor during practice.

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All the regular CRKC drivers wanted in on the NASCAR style fun. Multi-kart pile ups were the result to too much excitement and not enough patience, as the track workers really earned their money!

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Chris ran most of the day at the tail end of the pack, but made up a position with an inside pass at the hairpin. The 6th place finish gave Chris three points in a championship hunt that may already be over for him. Now it’s just racing for fun.

As for the professional racers, George Jackson impressed with his 3rd place finish, matching James Vance on the day, but sportscar superstar James French took off from pole position to earn an uncontested win in his race. The Wednesday night regulars just didn’t know who they were up against!

However, it was young Daniel who stole the show. After being coached by James Vance early in the season, and seeing him in the PRO karting team tent on many weekends, Daniel wanted to show what he could do. Starting from 3rd place, Daniel made a pass on the first lap, not letting the leader get away. Daniel stayed close behind the pole sitter until the final lap. Through the chicane, Daniel had a run approaching turn 8. Daniel stuffed his kart down the inside of turn 7, as his competitor tried to close the door. But it was too late. Daniel was ahead as they drag raced to turn 6, where Daniel held the outside lane to take the lead, and the win.

The Demaras Auto Racing Team has racked up 5 wins in CRKC so far this year. With a few days off from karting, Daniel and Chris look forward to seeing James Vance racing in this weekend’s NASCAR Pinty’s Series race at Exhibition Place.

Wickens and Hinch

Monday night saw the Schmidt Petersen duo of Robert Wickens and James Hinchcliffe head out to Hamilton to meet fans at a charity fundraiser at Cameron Motorsports. Via Instagram, Hinch said “Awesome to be here at #CanadianMiniIndy for the charity kart race Robert Wickens and I are hosting! Fun night of racing and raising money for Make-A-Wish Canada!”

Looks like the race was a ferocious display or arrive and drive skill!

In total, the event raised $6335.00 and Canadian Mini Indy presented a cheque at the end of the night for Make-A-Wish Canada. Wickens and Hinch also posed for photos with the race winners and all in all, spent the entire night chatting with the karting community.

For even more details about the event, check out the CKN article here.

Pfaff Kartsport Cup 2

After a high-risk scorcher at the second CRFKC round, Daniel returned to Mosport to compete in the second Pfaff Kartsport Cup round.

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Equipped with a new axle, Daniel found himself setting personal best lap times around his former home track, eventually qualifying eleventh.

Old friends and former teammates from VRS were also competing in the event.

With the IMSA Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix happening on the big circuit, karters were watching prototypes out of the corner of their eyes. Very exciting to be ‘sharing’ the weekend with racing stars like Helio Castroneves. But when F1 / Indy 500 / Nascar / Team Penske Acura DPi Prototype driver Juan Pablo Montoya appeared at the track, he was just another dad watching his kid race a junior kart.

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A week earlier, at the Champion Ron Fellowes Karting Challenge event, red flags flew in every session, and multiple drivers were taken off the track in the ambulance. But the Pfaff Cup was completely different. No red flags, no ambulances and really very few incidents of collisions.

Daniel lost ground in the pre-final and in final 1, falling to 15th place. In the final, he had a great start, and after some battles, ended the day off in a solid 13th place.

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Daniel improved greatly over the course of the day, and picked up a strong result, giving him new momentum into the CRFKC doubleheader at the end of July.

 

Hinch!

After a difficult month of May, James Hinchcliffe put all the negativity behind him and took his first IndyCar victory of 2018 on Sunday’s Iowa Corn 300. Also on the podium was fan favourite Takuma Sato. On lap 294, Ed Carpenter lost control of his car, began to spin, and was clipped by Sato’s No. 30 car…which corrected Carpenters spin!

Unfortunately for Schmidt Petersen Motorsports teammate Robert Wickens, the late race caution lead his team to call him to the pits for fresh rubber, but the race finished under yellow, costing Wickens a podium finish.

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Less than 24 hours after the oval race, the Canadian duo will be in Hamilton at the Canadian Mini Indy doing a promotional event in advance of this weekend’s home race, the Honda Indy Toronto, where they will surely be mobbed by Canadian racing fans.

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The life of a professional racecar driver is tough!