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 https://www.k1speed.com/covid19.html
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 Vittorio||28||17||23||19||23||110|
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
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.
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 Demaras||25||24||23||21||93|
|2. Alessio Alves||24||27||15||23||89|
|3. Ivano DiVittorio||28||17||23||19||87|
|4. Scenic Gopi||22||25||18||20||85|
|5. Kevin Lazarus||21||18||21||23||83|
|6. Marcello Nalli||26||23||17||15||81|
|7. Terry Mueller||20||16||19||11||66|
|8. Adrian Abeijon||9||27||16||13||65|
|9. Rocco Crimeni||13||21||13||18||65|
|10. Alexander Bisaga||18||19||20||0||57|
|11. Muzzammil Qureshi||14||14||12||16||56|
|12. Victor Zdanski||11||15||14||14||54|
|13. Patrice James||17||11||11||9||48|
|14. Chris Demaras||8||13||9||17||47|
|15. Fabio Oliveira||12||20||4||10||46|
|16. Alec Pavese||23||22||0||0||45|
|17. Alexander Chong||19||12||1||7||39|
|18. Andrew Busnello||16||9||7||0||32|
|19. Marcello Mariani||7||8||5||12||32|
|20. Justin Phillips||4||10||8||3||25|
|21. Igor Tkachuk||6||7||6||5||24|
|22. Nicholas Barnsdale||10||3||2||8||23|
|23. Ivan Vidovic||15||6||0||0||21|
|24. John Blackwood||2||5||10||4||21|
|25. Rafael Roschel||5||4||3||6||18|
|26. Tobiah Adam||3||2||0||1||6|
|27. Adam Sawicki||1||0||0||2||3|
|28. Gareth Stackhouse||0||1||0||0||1|
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 Demaras||25||24||23||72|
|2. Ivano DiVittorio||28||17||23||68|
|3. Alessio Alves||24||27||15||66|
|4. Marcello Nalli||26||23||17||66|
|5. Scenic Gopi||22||25||18||65|
|6. Kevin Lazarus||21||18||21||60|
|7. Alexander Bisaga||18||19||20||57|
|8. Terry Mueller||20||16||19||55|
|9. Adrian Abeijon||9||27||16||52|
|10. Rocco Crimeni||13||21||13||47|
|11. Alec Pavese||23||22||0||45|
|12. Muzzammil Qureshi||14||14||12||40|
|13. Victor Zdanski||11||15||14||40|
|14. Patrice James||17||11||11||39|
|15. Fabio Oliveira||12||20||4||36|
|16. Alexander Chong||19||12||1||32|
|17. Andrew Busnello||16||9||7||32|
|18. Chris Demaras||8||13||9||30|
|19. Justin Phillips||4||10||8||22|
|20. Ivan Vidovic||15||6||0||21|
|21. Marcello Mariani||7||8||5||20|
|22. Igor Tkachuk||6||7||6||19|
|23. John Blackwood||2||5||10||17|
|24. Nicholas Barnsdale||10||3||2||15|
|25. Rafael Roschel||5||4||3||12|
|26. Tobiah Adam||3||2||0||5|
|27. Adam Sawicki||1||0||0||1|
|28. Gareth Stackhouse||0||1||0||1|