Types of Rally Racing

Rallying began in Canada as a test of driving skill on public roads in challenging conditions. As the sport evolved, teams began to modify cars, and rally organizers chose more demanding roads. Cars now represent the latest in performance technology, and roads are closed off for competition, but at the core, rallying is still about teamwork to drive cars as fast as possible on challenging roads.

There are a variety of different disciplines under the umbrellas of rally racing.

Know as Time Speed Distance (TSD) Rallies, are navigational challenges where teams are given routes to follow and average speeds to maintain. While the target speeds are below the posted limit, the roads used still provide a challenge for both the driver and navigator. TSDs are often promoted as a gateway to performance rally, but the top-level competition can be really intense. These events take place on normal roads that are open to the public.

Requirements: First aid kits, emergency triangles and fire extinguishers are normally all that are required. Serious competitors will consider skid-plates, driving lights, rally computers (specific TSD computers are available), map lights and specialized tires.

Rally Cross:

Lets drivers get a taste of performance rallying at a fraction of the cost. Events are excellent to get comfortable driving a car on loose surfaces. These events are typically held on open, flat, self contained areas with speeds kept relatively slow, and are normally safe. Cars will run the course one at a time, with the fastest times in the day coming out on top.

Requirements: Safety equipment is limited to a helmet meeting CARS standards for Rally Cross. Car preparation is normally limited to removing loose items and making sure the car is mechanically sound. Again, at the top level competition can get serious and preparation will include lightening the car, improved suspension, specialized tires and race seats.

Performance Rally:

Events require specific licensing and full safety equipment as listed in the National Rally Regulations. These events are held on closed roads with the teams of a driver and co-driver are released at one-minute intervals from the start. While the fastest times on the competitive sections will generally win the event, there is also a navigational portion to Performance Rallies that requires teams to travel between stages and check in on time.

Requirements: Performance rally events require specific licensing, First Aid training, a medical certification, some experience on loose surface (TSDs, Rally Cross, Schools) and full safety equipment as listed in the National Rally Regulations. The safety equipment includes Helmet, head and neck restraint, race suit, race seats, race harnesses, roll cage, fire extinguishers, and first aid kits.

All of these rally events are sanctioned by CARS, the Canadian Association of Rally Sport.

Race Lab

Race Lab Inc. is a premier advanced driving school with an unparalleled track record of developing safer, more confident and highly adaptable drivers. The courses are unique because they teach safe, precise, defensive driving skills with real world applications by incorporating:

  • Driver training on mixed surfaces (tarmac, gravel, snow).
  • Techniques from the most demanding forms of motorsports.
  • Curriculum design based on complexities of driving in different countries, as well as international rally competition

Race Lab was founded by a 2-time Canadian Performance Rally Champion, “Crazy” Leo Urlichich. Crazy Leo has successfully competed in rallying and racing at a national level since 2007, and has represented Canada in WRC. Crazy Leo and his team of Race Lab instructors apply their vast international driving, teaching and competition experience to help students better anticipate and safely respond to the unexpected while behind the wheel.

Technical support and fleet maintenance for Race Lab is provided by Can-Jam Motorsports, a racing team with 35 years of international winning experience.

Besides the ‘classic‘ driver skill sets, Race Lab’s courses offer:

  • Advanced car control on mixed surfaces (including gravel, snow and asphalt)
  • Car control on multiple vehicle platforms
  • Defensive driving
  • Night driving
  • High speed obstacle avoidance
  • Convoy drills
  • Multitasking
  • Specialized rally training
  • Specialized road racing training

Race Lab’s courses are available at three levels – Basic, Advanced and Specialty, and can be tailored to meet individual requirements. Race Lab also designs fully customized training programs as per the unique needs and requirements of its clients, including specific skillsets, facilities and terrains.

For more information on Race Lab’s advanced driving training courses, including pricing for individuals and groups, contact them today.

Race Driver Hard Card

Champion kart racer Daniel Demaras has been issued a CASC Road Racing License.

The Race Driver Hard Card is valid for all 2022 motorsports events sanctioned by the CASC and affiliate regions of ASN Canada FIA. In the U.S., this provides Demaras with the equivalency of an SCCA Regional Racing License. Demaras plans to race the No. 12 Vallis Motor Sport car in the Formula 1200 series in 2022.


What an exciting moment for our racing sponsor, K1 Speed.

The No. 99 K1 Speed Team Trackhouse NASCAR was on track last week. Until now, it’s only ever been seen as a digital render. Here it was for real, in sheet metal. For Demaras Racing, and all the regulars at the track, it felt like a little piece of us was out there on the big oval.

Hinchcliffe Ends IndyCar Run

Sad news today as Canada’s own James Hinchliffe announced he will not be racing in IndyCar in 2022. Hinchcliffe has been a great inspiration to young Canadian racers like Daniel Demaras who met the approachable Mayor of Hinchtown before his IndyCar career began, and again during his peak year at the Indianapolis 500.

Team Canada Scholarship

Team Canada Scholarship has partnered with James Hinchcliffe to unveil the 2022 Team Canada Scholarship Shootout. Set to take place in late summer 2022, the Team Canada Scholarship Shootout will evaluate six young Canadian driver hopefuls, with the winning two drivers to represent Canada at the Formula Ford Festival and Walter Hayes Trophy races in the UK.

“I am very excited about the return of the Team Canada Scholarship for 2022. It will be our 10th appearance, and I am thrilled to have James Hinchcliffe and Robert Wickens involved with our team. With the creation of this new shootout to select two exciting new talents to represent Canada next fall, at the Formula Ford Festival, the future of our Team Canada Scholarship program is bright.”

Brian Graham, Team Canada Scholarship founder

Past alumni of the Team Canada Scholarship program include Garett Grist, Scott Hargrove, Parker Thompson and Zach Robichon. Hinchcliffe said he’s looking forward to helping discover new Canadian talent.

“I’m really excited to be a part of the Team Canada Scholarship program. It’s great what Brian and the team have done over the years, and I think moving forward we can make the program even better and really showcase the driving talent that we have coming up in Canada.”

James Hinchcliffe

For more details of the Team Canada Scholarship Shootout and the selection criteria, please visit TeamCanadaScholarship.com.


~ by Chris #16 Demaras ~

Casual fans and media outlets have described the 2021 Formula 1 season as an “instant classic”. Sounds like an action movie; the G.O.A.T., the reigning champion, challenged by the young lion. The protagonists entered the final race tied on points. You can’t write stuff like this!

But poor Nicholas Latifi, Canada’s greatest contribution for Formula 1 since Lance Stroll, crashed out with a few laps to go. If the race director had just thrown the red flag, the viewing public would have been treated to something special. The racers would have stopped in the pitlane for fresh tires, while the track was swept of any debris, and a standing-start, 5-lap sprint to decide the outcome of the Championship would unfold on live TV.

Instead, a ‘miracle’ was crafted by circumstance. Hamilton could not pit from the lead for fresh tires, due to the possibility of the race finishing under yellow. Verstappen was able to pit, contra to Hamilton, then regain all the lost time when the field bunched up behind the safety car. Hamilton was heard shouting over the radio that the race had been ‘manipulated’. Maybe this was payback by the racing gods for Brazil 2008.

Formula 1 wanted a highlight reel moment to decide the championship. Many expected a Senna vs Prost collision like 1990, but instead, Hamilton took the lead at Turn 1 and dominated the race. That wasn’t going to cut it in the age of Netflix! The race director’s decision to allow the five lapped cars between Hamilton (on old hard tires) and Verstappen (on new soft tires) to be released and immediately restarting provided the drama. A 22 race season all culminating in a final lap battle…no matter how fair a fight it turned out to be. Verstappen surely wishes he could have been allowed to prove his worth on track. Instead, his championship title has an asterisk next to it.


The media circus surrounding the F1 Championship finale is really ramping up. Even Elizabeth Blackstock at Jalopnik has come right out and suggested that Max should just crash out Lewis on Sunday, since there’s already a precedent set…by the mighty Senna himself.

Even casual F1 fans are already expecting the protagonists to smash each other in the final.

Villeneuve: “It wasn’t F1, it was rental karting”

In an interview with Motorsport.com the outspoken Jacques Villeneuve described last weekend’s battle between Hamilton and Verstappen in the Saudi GP as rental karting. The Canadian has also questioned whether the sport is becoming too much of a Hollywood show.

“It wasn’t F1, it was rental karting. Everything was wrong. So I’m not sure what to say…Do we want sport and good F1? Or do we just want a Hollywood show? If you want a Hollywood show, today was amazing. But is that what F1 is all about?”

Jacques Villeneuve, 1997 Formula 1 World Champion

2021 has been a shady season. Hamilton taking out Verstappen at the British GP resulted in a paltry penalty that had no impact on Hamilton’s victory. Then, Verstappen was given a win at the Belgian Grand Prix after driving only 3 laps behind the safety car. The points from a race that should never have been started could decide the Championship.

An intentional first-lap crash would be the picture-perfect ending to the 2021 season. So, tune in this weekend to see the exciting conclusion of the Ultimate Formula Championship!

Mazzetti d’Altavilla Grappa

Looking for the perfect gift for an automobile aficionado this Christmas? How about that most Italian of liqueurs, grappa, in a Scuderia Ferrari bottle?

Okay, so it’s not an actual Ferrari; however, Mazzetti’s F1-shaped glass decanter is still something to behold! Containing grappa (a grape pomace distillate), this will be sure to please both the car enthusiast or bottle collector in your life. Let them enjoy this spirit of the holidays!