Michelle Demaras is the youngest member of the racing team. Her skills on road and off road are developing nicely. But her artistic ability leaves everyone else eating her dust!
During the great shutdown of 2020, K1 RaceGear had a contest for budding artists to design a new race suit. It was a four week colouring contest, with winners receiving $50 gift cards, $250 gift cards…and the overall winner seeing their design come to life!
It’s time to kick off the K1 custom suit design contest. Download one of the weekly image files. Color it and submit to the contest. New winners chosen for each contest. Weekly winners will be chosen and entered into a final “Fan Vote Bracket” to be decided on K1 RaceGear’s Twitter.
The winning suit will be produced by K1 for the winning driver and worn in competition.
Soon-to-be 11 year-old Michelle is hopes to win the contest, and see her pastel harlequin rainbow suit proudly worn on a podium!
The first two US locations of K1 Speed have just re-opened as part of the return to normalcy after the coronavirus pandemic. The tracks in Atlanta, Georgia and Salt Lake City, Utah opened their doors on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 in accordance with their local government relaxing of restrictions effective Friday, May 1, 2020.
A representative from Demaras Racing placed a phone call to K1 Speed Salt Lake City shortly after 1:00 pm (Mountain Daylight Time) to ask about progress. While the location has taken necessary steps to ensure a safe experience (see video below) customers had not walked in the door…yet.
Clearly, Utah has a need for speed. They’re among the first stats to re-open go-kart tracks, and earlier this week a 5-year-old Utah boy was pulled over while driving his mom’s car on Interstate 15 north of Salt Lake City. Somebody needs to take that kid to K1 Speed.
K1 Speed at Downsview Park. The building is completely abandoned.
Rows of karts with brand new chassis sit idle. Trophies for the 130R Racing Series remain unclaimed with one race yet to run. If it wasn’t for the fresh paint, you wouldn’t know anybody had been in the facility for weeks.
K1 Speed is a fun place. Sure, racetracks like Goodwood and Mosport are fun too…but those places are serious. K1 Speed is entertainment disguised as racing. But now it’s…lifeless.
First, our hope is this update finds all of you healthy in both body and spirit. The changes to our world, workplace and industry brought about by COVID-19 have been massive and we are committed to responding alike.
The K1 RaceGear retail showroom located in Carlsbad California is closed to the public until further notice. Our Distribution Center will continue to operate during normal business hours from 8am-5pm, PST to handle phone calls, emails, e-commerce orders and shipping. Please continue to call our customer service line at (800) 514-3277 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org for all your questions or needs. In addition, our Distribution channels can rest assured that our warehouse is fully stocked with most popular K1 products and we will continue to fulfill and process orders without delay!
Our K1 RaceGear Pro Shop located in Concord, NC is closed to the public as well until further notice. We will continue to operate our normal hours of 8am – 5pm, EST answering phones, processing orders as well as offering curbside pickup of products if needed. Please contact us to make appointment
The K1 Custom Suit Design department remains in full swing!! Our fulltime design staff and custom suit dealers remain hard at work providing artwork for customers in a timely manner. We are committed to navigating these special circumstances with you and providing as always the finest custom tailored suits and safety equipment on the market with limited production delays.
“No other industry in the world has remained as resilient and optimistic during times of crisis and market turmoil as the Motorsports Industry. Our collective positivity, will to succeed and refusal to lose will guide us through these challenges. Safety is always our #1 priority at K1 and we will continue to do our part to help control the spread of this virus.”
Two weeks has passed since “Friday the 13th” … the day all racing stopped. Daniel and I have taken the the opportunity to re-live the 2007 Formula 1 season by watching every race, in order. Sure, we already know that Raikkonen will win the World Championship in the final race at Brazil. And I think Massa even gives up the race win that day to help his teammate win the title (how magnanimous). But so many details of that season are distant memories, it really is like experiencing it again, for the first time.
Yesterday we watched the Monaco Grand Prix. The cameraman kept focusing on Michael Schumacher, who was working in the Ferrari garage as a ‘special consultant’. Schumacher had retired at the end of the previous season with 7 Championships, including five in a row at the red team. So, yeah … I’d call him special.
My son recollected a picture of that race which he’d seen as a child. Daniel described it as a crestfallen Schumacher, slumped over on the wall, watching the cars go by … wishing he was still racing too.
The picture really spoke to me. I see my son wishing he was getting ready for spring training, practicing at the local track. Instead, we’re just waiting for the season to start. We’re not the only ones. I saw this picture on K1 Speed’s social media of our friend Patricio Jourdain Jr in full race gear … not racing. He feels it too.
But this video of Luca Link really expresses what we’re all feeling.
Round 5 of the 2019/2020 Season of the 130R Racing Series took place on Monday, March 16th…right in the middle of the panic over “The Virus”. Even the parking lot was a demonstration of social distancing.
Only 15 members of the 130R Racing Series showed up for the race, and with less than a dozen regular people present for public races, everyone in the race series had a chance to go out and get warmed up before qualifying.
Daniel started in fourth place behind Ross Sortino, Scenic Gopi and Ahmad Hamdy. A bad start saw Ivano Di Vittorio and Nico Hines get by Demaras, but Daniel regained a position from Ivano a lap later. After smart defending from Nico, Daniel decided that rather than trying to make the pass on Nico for 3rd, he would push him to catch the lead pack of Scenic and Ahmad who were locked in a battle with one another.
The drafting was successful, and after a few laps, Daniel tried following Nico past Scenic in turn 6, but after making the pass, contact from behind sent Daniel sideways, dropping four positions. Aggressive passing in the hairpin gained Daniel back two of those positions, but he had to go on the hunt to take back his podium. When Demaras caught Scenic Gopi, the rival put Daniel into the wall multiple times with his dreadful defending. Daniel crossed the line in fifth.
While some spectators cheered at the carnage on track, many in attendance at Race 5 felt that things had gone too far. Blocking a pass by driving the other guy into the wall. Crashing into a rival under braking, spinning him out to steal his podium. Ugly overtaking attempts, and dangerous defense. Is this really racing?
Demaras left the track extremely frustrated. He always tries to race clean, but not following the law of the jungle and intentionally crashing into his competitors to get ahead … could cost him.
Daniel enters the last round of the 2019/2020 130R Racing Series with a 24 point advantage over Ivano Di Vittorio, 27 points over Dawson Campbell and 33 points over Igor Manukhov. With a maximum of 35 points up for grabs, Daniel Demaras must finish fourth or higher to defend his 130R title.
It all started out so well. With only 15 out of the usual 30 racers competing, it was a chance for Chris Demaras to jump up the standings. With some of the quicker drivers (like Ivano, Dawson and Daniel) destined for Group 1, Chris had his sights set on maximizing points in Group 2.
Demaras put his race kart on pole position for the Group 2 final, and was expecting a great result. Relaxed and ready!
But as soon as the green flag dropped, everyone at the track could hear the problem. Chris’ front left wheel was grinding on the spindle, and something was ready to break. The sound was amplified on every corner, but even on the straights, the kart would not run properly.
With a such a mechanical issue, Chris did everything he could to keep the pack behind him. Finally, the wheel snapped off the kart sending Demaras into a 180° spin, crashing into the wall.
Chris tried to make light of the situation, but after the cheering stopped, thoughts of what could have happened started to creep into his mind. There’s a long, high-speed straightaway just before Turn 5; if the wheel had broken off 10 m earlier, would he have been able to stop the kart, or would the wall have done it for him?
Without no time to dwell on his thoughts, Chris walked to the pits and jumped in the No. 18 kart to finish the race. Demaras was allowed to rejoin the race in 3rd place, next to his sparring partner, Igor.
Sadly, Demaras couldn’t catch the leaders, and was unable to convert his pole-position into victory. But he drove the wheels off it trying.
It was only a matter of time until K1 Speed Toronto would suspend operations. It’s a gathering place, often with more than 250 people on hand, always with more than 50. There’s a kitchen and bar, so rules limiting service would impact them. Then there’s the whole sharing of helmets. It was only a matter of time.
Even arriving at the track yesterday, it was obvious that with the exception of the truly hardcore racers, people were staying away. Social distancing was evident in the parking lot.
To Our Valued Guests,
Our unwavering commitment to the community and the general welfare of our guests and team members is our top priority. In the interest of preserving and protecting public health and safety, and in compliance with the recommendations of local government, K1 Speed Toronto has temporarily suspended operations and will be closed until further notice. We will be monitoring this developing situation closely, and will provide updates to our valued guests as soon as they become available, including rescheduling any existing party bookings or events.
We wish good health to you and your loved ones, and look forward to seeing you at the track soon!
K1 Speed Canada
At 9:00 am on the morning of March 17, 2020, the press release from K1 Speed Canada confirmed what racers last night suspected. The track would be closed until further notice. Only 3 days ago, K1 sent out another press release stating that they’d stay open, but would be taking additional precautions such as:
Every racer would receive a brand-new full-face covering head sock.
Additional cleaning and sanitation procedures.
Additional hand sanitizer stations.
But as Toronto health officials force more businesses to close to slow the spread of the virus, K1 Speed had no choice but to close its doors.
With the series championship on the line, and personal scores to settle, the GoPro Challenge GP came down to one final race.
In Group 3, Justin Phillips passed pole-sitter Fabio Oliveira for the victory, but the big story was valiant Victor Zdanski battling for a podium position against his rival Chris Demaras, who raced from fifth on the grid to second in the race.
Kevin Lazarus moved up two spots to take the win from Terry Mueller in Group 2, with Patrice James rounding out the podium. This was a particularly rough race with drivers desperate to improve their final points standing making far more contact than usual, leaving other racers fuming.
The championship finale was decided in Group 1, where the top three finishers in the race were also the top three in the final standings. Scenic Gopi was a picture of consistency. While he didn’t win a race in the series, he was in the high points-paying Group 1 in every race. His podium finish secured 3rd place overall in the GoPro Challenge GP. The runner-up was Alessio Alves, who was tied at the top of the chart with 110 points. Alves had a great series taking a pole and a win this season. Ivano Di Vittorio capped off the season with pole position and the win, to secure the GoPro Challenge GP series championship. Di Vittorio’s two wins to Silva’s one win was the tie breaker.
The winter round of the GoPro Challenge GP at K1 Speed Toronto was a huge success, with 28 competitors fighting for positions and race wins. As the five-round series progressed, skill levels improved and firm but fair racing was demonstrated by some of K1 Speed’s fiercest competitors. After 5 weeks and 15 rounds, the winner of the GoPro HERO 8 was Ivano Di Vittorio. But with the spring season of the GoPro Challenge GP is only a few weeks away there is still more thrilling racing to come.