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

Perfect ‘After School’ Activity

When Daniel Demaras was a youngster, his family would take him to every concession kart track in Ontario. The karts were just what you’d expect; slow and under-powered. Often he was on track by himself, nobody to compete with.

Oh, how young Daniel wished there was a series like the K1 Speed Junior League for young racers. Here’s their press release, below.

If you feel that your pre-teen is the next Lewis Hamilton or Danica Patrick, then K1 Speed’s Junior Race League is for you! This 5-week youth program is designed for children who are between 48″ to 64” in height and 8 to 13 years of age, and will run every Tuesday from March 31 to April 28.

Our kart racing league provides children with invaluable lessons, not only in racing, but in sportsmanship and camaraderie as well. We believe that our youth kart league is a great way to spend time with your son or daughter, and can serve as a wonderful learning experience for both parents and their children! If you would like your son or daughter to become involved in youth kart racing, or if you’re just looking for something to keep them active this spring, you’ll want to reserve a spot for your child in our Junior Race League today.

Spaces are extremely limited, and at our special rate of only $199 for the entire 5-week series ($250 value), you’ll want to jump on this immediately.  Register online today for this incredible program!   

Race 2: GoPro Challenge GP

The GoPro Challenge GP returned for Round 2 of the 2020 season. After a thrilling opening round, twenty-seven of K1 Speed’s top drivers arrived again to battle for top times and race victories. Ivano Di Vittorio, Alexander Bisaga and Adrian Abeijon looked to continue their form after wins in Round 1 while everyone else looked to take the fight to the championship leaders. But unpredictable qualifying times had some drivers out of their normal groups, with one competitor commenting “My lap time out there today was a personal worst!”.

Andrew Busnello took pole in Group 3 ahead of Ivan Vidovic and Igor Tkachuk. Busnello would go on to dominate the race and take the win, with Marcello Mariani finishing second after starting fourth on the grid. Mr. Consistency Igor Tkachuk qualified third, and finished third, improving on his Round 1 result. Nicholas Barnsdale moved up two places to finish fifth, and Gareth Stackhouse finished eighth in his series debut.

In Group 2, defending champion Kevin Lazarus took pole position ahead of Terry Mueller. A ‘miracle lap’ by Chris Demaras in qualifying bumped him from Group 3 to Group 2 where he’d line up third on the grid. While Lazarus lead the entire race, an intense battle went on behind him. Ivano Di Vittorio moved up two positions to finish second, Terry Mueller finished third, and Victor Zdansi made two positional passes to finish fourth. Muzzamil Qureshi had a spectacular race, going from last in qualifying to a fifth place result.

In Group 1, Adrian Abeijon qualified on pole ahead of ahead of Scenic Gopi, whose performance was much improved over the previous week. Alessio Alves, the 2019 Challenge GP runner-up, went on a charge, passing Gopi and Abeijon for the win. Marcello Nalli finished fifth, right behind Daniel Demaras, despite Nalli having started seventh in the closely contested race.

After Round 2, Alessio Alves leads the championship, only 2 points ahead of Marcello Nalli and Daniel Demaras (tied for second) and 4 points ahead of Scenic Gopi. Ivano Di Vittorio was leading the championship going in to Round 2 but slipped back to 5th place. Only six points back, he’s well within striking distance. With such a close points battle, the GoPro Challenge GP looks set to be a hard fought and closely contested championship.

1. Alessio Alves242751
2. Marcello Nalli262349
3. Daniel Demaras252449
4. Scenic Gopi222547
5. Ivano DiVittorio281745
6. Alec Pavese232245
7. Kevin Lazarus211839
8. Alexander Bisaga181937
9. Terry Mueller201636
10. Adrian Abeijon92736
11. Rocco Crimeni132134
12. Fabio Oliveira122032
13. Alexander Chong191231
14. Patrice James171128
15. Muzzammil Qureshi141428
16. Victor Zdanski111526
17. Andrew Busnello16925
18. Ivan Vidovic15621
19. Chris Demaras81321
20. Marcello Mariani7815
21. Justin Phillips41014
22. Nicholas Barnsdale10313
23. Igor Tkachuk6713
24. Rafael Roschel549
25. John Blackwood257
26. Tobiah Adam325
27. Adam Sawicki101
28. Gareth Stackhouse011

Local Racer returns to IndyCar

Great news about beloved Canadian racer James Hinchcliffe. Months after losing his ride with Arrow McLaren Schmidt Peterson, and weeks after announcement of a lifeline by new sponsor Genesys, the final pieces have fallen in place.

Hinch will return to Andretti Autosport for three races in the 2020 IndyCar season including the GMR Grand Prix road course race at Indianapolis, the Indianapolis 500 and the Texas Indy 600 .

Hinchcliffe is truly a local hero. Spending his early kart racing career at Goodwood Kartways, and still occasionally visiting local tracks like K1 Speed, the mayor of Hinchtown has a strong connection with young up and coming drivers.

Race 1: GoPro Challenge GP

K1 Speed’s 2020 GoPro Challenge GP kicked off on February 13th with some top racers coming out to K1 Speed Toronto for a night of hard racing. 2019 Challenge GP champion Kevin Lazarus and runner-up Alessio Alves looked to continue their success, while newcomers to the series looked to make their mark.

After two quick qualifying sessions, Group 3 was the first race of the night, with Chris Demaras taking pole position over Igor Tkachuk and Marcello Mariani. After an intense wheel to wheel battle, Adrian Aebeijon took the win over Chris Demaras with Marcello Mariani and Igor Tkachuk close behind. Rafael Roschel impressively moved up from his eighth place starting position to round out the Top 5.

In Group 2, Patrice James took pole over Alexander Bisaga and Nicholas Barnsdale. Despite leading the early stages of the race, Patrice would lose the lead to Bisaga who would go on to victory. Barnsdale had a difficult race, falling to ninth place, as Andrew Busnello went on a charge from eighth to finish a spectacular third. 

In Group 1, the fastest drivers of the night took to the track. Ivano Di Vittorio took pole position with a lightning quick 22.176 second lap time ahead of Terry Mueller and Marcello Nalli. Dominating the race, Di Vittorio lead from start to finish. Marcello Nalli was locked into a battle throughout the closing laps with Daniel Demaras who set the night’s fastest lap of 22.152 seconds on his way to third place. Alessio Alves finished fourth, and Alec Pavese moved from eight on the grid to finish fifth.

After a thrilling first round, the GoPro Challenge GP will return on February 20th for more exciting wheel to wheel racing with K1 Speed’s quickest drivers as they battle for glory … and a new GoPro HERO 8.

  1. Ivano DiVittorio – 28 points
  2. Marcello Nalli – 26 points
  3. Daniel Demaras – 25 points
  4. Alessio Alves – 24 points
  5. Alec Pavese – 23 points
  6. Scenic Gopi – 22 points
  7. Kevin Lazarus – 21 points
  8. Terry Mueller – 20 points
  9. Alexander Chong – 19 points
  10. Alexander Bisaga – 18 points
  11. Patrice James – 17 points
  12. Andrew Busnello – 16 points
  13. Ivan Vidovic – 15 points
  14. Muzzammil Qureshi – 14 points
  15. Rocco Crimeni – 13 points
  16. Fabio Oliveira – 12 points
  17. Victor Zdanski – 11 points
  18. Nicholas Barnsdale – 10 points
  19. Adrian Abeijon – 9 points
  20. Chris Demaras – 8 points
  21. Marcello Mariani – 7 points
  22. Igor Tkachuk – 6 points
  23. Rafael Roschel – 5 points
  24. Justin Phillips – 4 points
  25. Tobiah Adam – 3 points
  26. John Blackwood – 2 points
  27. Adam Sawicki – 1 point

Formula E at K1 Speed

Saturday, February 15th, 2020, is the Mexican round of the 2019/2020 Formula E season. In the lead up to the E-Prix, Formula E veteran Sam Bird and his Envision Virgin Racing teammate Robin Frijns visited K1 Speed Mexico on Thursday, February 20th, 2020.

The event created a buzz of excitement in advance of the weekend’s race, and gave an opportunity for Envision Virgin Racing Formula E drivers to meet with fans and educate young racers about the Race Against Climate Change.

The event marked the second collaboration between the all-electric K1 Speed indoor karting chain and the all-electric FIA Formula E series. In 2015, when Formula E held an event in Long Beach, California, K1 Speed set up an outdoor electric karting track that the professional racers just had to try!

130R Race 4

The 2019/2020 season of the 130R Racing Series has been very successful at retaining the number of competitors. Twenty-seven of the thirty racers who signed up for the six round series showed up on Monday, February 10th, 2020 for Round Four.

In warm-up Ahmad Handy laid down a blistering 21.985 second lap, coming within four hundredths of a second of the track record. Daniel Demaras knew he would need to do something special to challenge for the win.

When it counted during qualifying, Daniel set a 22.157 second lap to take the pole position ahead of Nico and Ross. With these two racers behind him, plus the always dangerous Dawson Campbell in the field, the race was bound to be an epic fight.

A pulse-pounding race followed, with Daniel leading and King Nico challenging for the win, reeling in Daniel right up to the checkered flag. Despite all the excitement, the Top 3 qualifiers finished in the same order; Daniel Demaras in 1st, King Nico Hines in 2nd and Ross “The Boss” Sortino in 3rd.

For Demaras Sr., the night would be contested in the ‘Formula 2’ second tier race against old friend Igor on pole followed by Andrew Crane. Chris Demaras started third with Stacy Eberschlag in fourth followed by aggressive drivers like Anoop Pillai waiting to pounce.

A clean getaway from the drop of the green flag, and some customary Turn 2 bumping had the pack grouped together on lap 1. Fractions of a second separated first from last place, and the smallest mistake could cost a driver multiple positions.

Demaras had to avoid a sliding competitor at Turn 6, slowing so much that Anoop took third from Chris. However, Demaras rallied back, making an aggressive pass on his competitor only two laps later, returning to his qualifying position, where he finished the race. Pole sitter Igor took home the win ahead of Andrew Crane. Chris Demaras extended his streak of podium finishes to three races by coming home in 3rd place.

The points chart has Daniel in the lead over Ivano, with Logan a surprising third. Chris is in 7th place, but with two rounds to go, it’s anybody’s championship to win.