From Cars to Karts

Team Penske’s Will Power and Josef Newgarden will trade their IndyCars for karts next week as the duo compete at USPKS Supernationals kart race in Las Vegas next week.

Aside from being the 2014 IndyCar Series champion and 2018 Indy 500 winner, Power sells his own brand of WPK – Will Power Karts. He’s an avid karter in the off season, as is often found at the GoPro Motorplex in Mooresville, North Carolina (just a few miles from Penske Racing HQ). Newgarden, on the other hand, hasn’t been in a competitive kart race in 8 years, but has managed to capture 2 IndyCar Series titles during that time.

Will the arrival of IndyCar champions at Supernationals again entice young racers to slice and dice with them in an effort to make a name for themselves? Follow along from December 1st to 5th 2021 to find out!

Urban Decay

The SVX has been in the Demaras Racing stable for nearly a decade. The car still looks good by modern standards, but certainly not modern. It is distinctly retro. The clean lines of the long, low, wide body juxtaposed against the chaos of graffiti and dilapidated buildings emphasizes what an incredible design Giorgetto Giugiaro produced more than 30 years ago.

The car was acquired in incredible condition from the original owner, who purchased the car from Scarboro Subaru. Customizations to the Subaru include a Delta Speed body kit, JDM spoiler, and wheels from an ’07 WRX STi. This year, the biggest customization was completed; the addition of Airlift Performance air-suspension. It completely transforms the stance of the car.

The SVX deserved one more glamour shot before winter storage.

Jet Kleen

Michelle Demaras has always been around cars. Even when she was in kindergarten she’d help swap over to summer tires on her mom’s 2006 Subaru Impreza.

One thing Michelle really gets a kick out of is the Jet Kleen coin car-wash just up the street from Demaras Racing headquarters on O’Connor Dr.

Last winter, the ice was so thick on the team truck that the tailgate was frozen shut. A quick trip to Jet Kleen put the power of the high-pressure spray in Michelle’s hands, and she blasted away all the ice. This time, she carefully cleaned the retro 1992 Subaru SVX in preparation of a photoshoot in graffiti alley.

F1200: Zink Cars

Formula 1200 (or Formula Vee) has a rich history. To prepare for competition in 2022, Demaras Racing has been learning about the interesting vehicles (like the aircraft-inspired Pegasus) as well as pioneers of the racing category. Today we look at Zink Cars.

Zink Cars was an American race car constructor in formed in 1962. Competing in several SCCA categories, Zinc is best known for its Formula Vee race cars. Ed Zink started his auto racing career at the dirt ovals of Tennessee and North Carolina in the 1950s. In 1962, Zink designed and built his first road racing car, the Zink Petit. The Zink Petit was a racing car built according to SCCA H-Modified class. The car was powered by a 850 cc DKW engine. The car made its debut at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs in 1960.

After a stint in sportscars, Zink introduced the Zink Z-5 Formula Vee. The car was first produced in 1965 and was dominant in its class until 1970. The Z-5 won the Formula Vee race at the Runoffs for five years in a row. In 1967 the Zink Z-5s finished in the first five places.

The coolest thing about these race cars was that they were so dominant that the SCCA changed the rules (outlawing the Zink’s stressed-skin metalwork) to counter the car’s uncanny ability. Even toay, Zinks often make up half the grid at historic Formula Vee events.

Illustration by Werner Bührer

Turkey Bowl 2021

Previewed last week, the VRG Turkey Bowl season ending race kicked off Friday at Summit Point Motorsports Park. Sunny skies, cold temps, and a record turnout. Vintage Motorsport photographer Bill Stoler was on hand to capture scenes throughout the weekend.

Not a huge number of open-wheel cars, but some Formula Fords were on track, battling for glory.

On Track in November

This third time out on track in the VMS F1200 car might be the last chance in 2021 for Daniel Demaras. It’s November, and the weather is turning cold. The track feels slick. The sun is setting earlier, and limited light makes lapping TMP along with GT cars a little sketchy.

Two F1200 cars have been prepared; the No. 27 for Daniel, and the No. 38 for Jason, a veteran A&D racer from the Mosport Karting Centre. The cars have a full racing of season on them, and they’re likely due for a rebuild this winter, but nobody is looking at lap times today. Just another chance to test out the F1200 in low-grip conditions.

Bill Davis checks the oil level on the racecar, and re-torques the lug nuts, more out of habit. Bill Vallis tightens up Daniel’s safety harness and gives some words of encouragement and warning. With only two other cars lapping today, so not much rubber has been put down. The tires will feel like they’re made of plastic, and with the air temperature so low, the rubber will actually get colder on track.

Lupus Grand Prix winner, Jason, brought out the big guns. Coaching him was Aaron, a professional racing driver with IMSA Prototype Challenge and Lamborghini Super Trofeo series on his resume. Aaron is an expert with the GoPro (and deserves some sponsorship from the GoPro company) and generously helped get Daniel’s HERO 7 securely attached to the roll bar on the No. 27.

Back on track, Demaras was comfortable. Yes, the zipper on his race suit broke and it was being held closed by duct tape. Yes the wind chilled Daniel to his core. But the car is getting more familiar to him. So, as comfortable as possible under the circumstances.

Demaras stayed out on track well after his extremities went numb, only coming into the pits when instructed to by Bill, because the car was running out of gas. Daniel toughed it out through three sessions, including a few minutes where snow began falling.

With the 1200 cc engines engines at the end of their service schedule, and Daniel’s race suit clearly at the end of its life, the 2021 lapping sessions may well and truly be over. The race cars were loaded back into the hauler for the short trip back to the VMS shop in Welland where the cars will be stripped down and rebuilt for another season of racing.

Daniel has become a bit of a regular in Cayuga. Starting off as a thrill-seeker last year, driving around in the track boss’ Ferrari and his F2000 cars. This year, Demaras has become very familiar with Toronto Motorsports Park, getting in multiple lapping days in both his Subaru WRX and Valls’ F1200 cars. Looking forward to returning next spring.

VIDEO: On Track in November

Nicely edited video (really cool moment after 3:30) of Daniel Demaras driving one of the Vallis Motor Sport F1200 cars at Toronto Motorsports Park in November. And yes…that’s snow on the camera.

Step by Step

When Daniel got his Ontario driver’s license, it seemed like a big deal. But getting a CASC Racing License is even bigger.

Demaras’ goal of racing in Formula 1200 is slowly taking shape. First, he attended the Brack Driving Concepts ‘racer observation’ course at Shannonville and was given the OK. Next he applied for membership in VARAC and his request to race the No. 12 in the Formula Classic grid was accepted. This week, his VARAC membership card arrived. It’s all starting to come together.

Of COURSE It Was a Subaru

A Subaru driver travelling eastbound on Eglinton took a left off the roadway and onto the new Eglinton LRT tracks near Leslie St late on Wednesday night. TTC cut power to the tracks, and nobody was injured.

Despite the Subaru’s symmetrical AWD system and rally-racing heritage, the Legacy GT was stranded in the urban jungle, and had to be rescued.