The Off-Season Never Ends

~ by Chris ‘#16’ Demaras ~

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.

130R Race 5 (Group 1)

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.

130R Race 5 (Group 2)

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.

Suspended Operations: K1 Speed

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.

For updates, visit

Race 5: GoPro Challenge GP

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.

Ivano Di Vittorio2817231923110
Alessio Alves2427152321110
Scenic Gopi2225182020105
Daniel Demaras2524232110103
Marcello Nalli2623171519100
Kevin Lazarus211821231497
Rocco Crimeni132113181580
Terry Mueller201619111379
Adrian Abeijon9271613974
Muzzammil Qureshi141412161672
Alexander Bisaga18192001168
Alec Pavese2322001762
Patrice James17111191260
Victor Zdanski11151414559
Chris Demaras813917653
Fabio Oliveira1220410450
Marcello Mariani785121850
Alexander Chong191217039
Andrew Busnello16970032
Justin Phillips41083732
Nicholas Barnsdale10328831
Igor Tkachuk6765024
John Blackwood25104324
Ivan Vidovic15600021
Rafael Roschel5436018
Tobiah Adam320117
Adam Sawicki100225
Gareth Stackhouse010001

POSTPONED: K1 Speed World Championship

The entire Demaras family was saddened to receive the news today. The March 24-31 family trip to California to watch Daniel compete in the K1 Speed World Championships has been cancelled, and the event has postponed until the summer, at the earliest.

Hello Championship Racer,

Due to the recent travel ban, our international competitors can no longer attend our World Championship. So, in the interest of fair competition, we are postponing the United States Championship and World Championship final that was to be held March 26, 2020.

We are tentatively targeting sometime in summer to now host the championship, with the date to be determined. Rest assured, we’ll provide you with plenty of time to plan arrangements for the new date.

We sincerely apologize for any inconveniences that stem from this announcement. Like other event and motorsport organizers, we had been following our county’s Public Health Department guidelines. They have not been recommending cancellation or postponement of any public event, as the risk in Orange County is low. However, due to the travel ban, we cannot deny our international racers with the opportunity to win the championship.

Since this whole event is a time of celebration and for you to meet with our extended international K1 Speed family, the US Championship will run on the rescheduled date as well.

Once again, we regretfully take this action, but given the recent development, we had no choice but to move the date. We appreciate your understanding – this is new territory for us all.

We will reach out again over the coming months with a new date and will reconfirm RSVPs. As a result of the postponement, you can expect an even bigger and better event than it would’ve already been.

Thank you again for your understanding during these unprecedented times.

K1 Speed

Global Impact

With IndyCar, Nascar and F1 set to run at tracks around the world this weekend, news has quickly spread around the world that the coronavirus threat will result in the cancellation of event in every motorsport discipline.

Some races may go ahead without spectators, or at least ‘general admission’ spectators, but until race day Sunday, nobody knows for sure.

UPDATE: Demaras Racing will be at K1 Speed Toronto tonight to compete in the fifth and final round of the GoPro Challenge GP, as scheduled.

Race 4: GoPro Challenge GP

The penultimate round of the GoPro Challenge GP had strong performances and surprising results from the committed racers competing for the title.

In Group 3, Rafael Roschel summoned his inner Ferrari and put it on pole. Despite Roschel’s firm but fair defending, Alexander Chong could not be stopped! Chong took the lead after a back and forth battle, gapping the field to the checkered flag. Igor Tkachuk leaped up to 3rd from 5th on the grid while John Blackwood slid back one spot to 4th. Justin Philips moved up to 5th while Adam Sawicki’s strong qualifying only translated into a 6th place result, and Tobiah Adam was steady in 7th.

In Group 2, the electrical gremlins caused issues with karts, and the race had to be re-run. Despite this,  nothing was going to stop Marcello-Christian Nalli from taking victory away from pole-sitter Victor Zdanski, who had to settle for 2nd place. The highlight of the race was Adrian Abeijon’s charge from last on the grid to a 3rd place finish, demoting Marcello Mariani to 4th and Terry Muller to 5th. Fabio Oliviera and Patrice James swapped positions to finish in 6th and 7th respectively, and Nicholas Barnsdale slid back to 8th place despite starting mid-pack.

Alessio Alves started from pole position, but was beaten by the superior speed of Kevin Lazarus, who set the week’s fastest time at 22:205 seconds on route to victory. Alves dropped to 3rd place before making his way past Daniel Demaras to take back 2nd. An Impressive Scenic Gopi kept his title hopes alive by finishing 4th despite starting last. Ivano Di Vittorio and Rocco Crimeni finished as they qualified in 5th and 6th positions. The big surprise of qualifying was Chris Demaras, who started the tournament racing in Group 3, then Group 2, finally moved up to fight the big dogs in Group 1. Chris made an aggressive pass to take 7th place, while Muzzammil Qureshi dropped from 3rd in qualifying to an 8th place finish due to mechanical issues.

Kevin Lazarus joins Ivano Di Vittorio, Alessio Alves and Daniel Demaras as the fourth different overall round winner. The unique points system has kept the competition extremely close, rewarding consistency as much as top finishes. Going into the final round, first place through fifth place are separated by only 10 points. Demaras holds a 4 point lead over Alves who is 2 points ahead of Di Vittorio, who’s also 2 points ahead of Gopi with Lazarus a further 2 points back. Everything will come down to the final, thrilling round of the GoPro Challenge GP on Thursday, March 12th at K1 Speed Toronto.

1. Daniel Demaras2524232193
2. Alessio Alves2427152389
3. Ivano DiVittorio2817231987
4. Scenic Gopi2225182085
5. Kevin Lazarus2118212383
6. Marcello Nalli2623171581
7. Terry Mueller2016191166
8. Adrian Abeijon927161365
9. Rocco Crimeni1321131865
10. Alexander Bisaga181920057
11. Muzzammil Qureshi1414121656
12. Victor Zdanski1115141454
13. Patrice James171111948
14. Chris Demaras81391747
15. Fabio Oliveira122041046
16. Alec Pavese23220045
17. Alexander Chong19121739
18. Andrew Busnello1697032
19. Marcello Mariani7851232
20. Justin Phillips4108325
21. Igor Tkachuk676524
22. Nicholas Barnsdale1032823
23. Ivan Vidovic1560021
24. John Blackwood2510421
25. Rafael Roschel543618
26. Tobiah Adam32016
27. Adam Sawicki10023
28. Gareth Stackhouse01001

Race 3: GoPro Challenge GP

The third round of the GoPro Challenge GP was contested on February 27th, with fast drivers and hard racers returning to K1 Speed Toronto. With the championship heating up, everyone knew that they had to put in strong performances to stay in contention for the championship.

In Group 3, Andrew Busnello took his second consecutive pole position, with Igor Tkachuk and Marcello Mariani starting right behind him. While Busnello would take the win, the story of the race was Rafael Roschel’s charge from seventh on the grid to fifth, a strong result despite the qualifying result.

Bouncing back from a difficult second round, Victor Zdanski stormed to pole position in Group 2 with Rocco Crimeni and John Blackwood starting second and third. But fourth place starter Alessio Alves took his second win on the trot, with Zdanski and Crimeni close behind. With another strong performance, Alves finds himself right in the middle of the championship battle.

Ivano Di Vittorio took the Group 1 pole position for the second time this season, earning another bonus point. As the green flag dropped, Daniel Demaras chased down his rival, with Alexander Bisaga close behind. Technical problems plagued the race, and in the ensuing restart, six karts funneled turn two at the same time. Di Vittorio went inside, Demaras went outside, and after the scuffle in the tunnel, Demaras emerged with the lead, which he held for his first victory of the tournament ahead of Di Vittorio, and season one champion Kevin Lazarus in third despite starting from sixth on the grid.

After three rounds Daniel Demaras takes a four-point lead in the championship over Ivano Di Vittorio, with Alessio Alves and Marcello Nalli tied for third, and Scenic Gopi only one point further back. With only two races remaining, competition will only get more intense in the quest to win the GoPro Challenge GP at K1 Speed Toronto.

1. Daniel Demaras25242372
2. Ivano DiVittorio28172368
3. Alessio Alves24271566
4. Marcello Nalli26231766
5. Scenic Gopi22251865
6. Kevin Lazarus21182160
7. Alexander Bisaga18192057
8. Terry Mueller20161955
9. Adrian Abeijon9271652
10. Rocco Crimeni13211347
11. Alec Pavese2322045
12. Muzzammil Qureshi14141240
13. Victor Zdanski11151440
14. Patrice James17111139
15. Fabio Oliveira1220436
16. Alexander Chong1912132
17. Andrew Busnello169732
18. Chris Demaras813930
19. Justin Phillips410822
20. Ivan Vidovic156021
21. Marcello Mariani78520
22. Igor Tkachuk67619
23. John Blackwood251017
24. Nicholas Barnsdale103215
25. Rafael Roschel54312
26. Tobiah Adam3205
27. Adam Sawicki1001
28. Gareth Stackhouse0101