Kart4Kids 2021

Demaras Racing wants to take a moment to shine some light on Kart4Kids Pro-Am Kart Race which raises funds for Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.

Kart4Kids has been able to provide Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital with “Angel Eyes” cameras so families can watch inside the patient rooms when they aren’t at the hospital, a Sonosite Ultrasound to help with accurate placement of IVs in babies, a Giraffe Omni Bed for NICU patients as well as a Transport Tecotherm device, three portable EEG units and one ECMO unit.

IndyCar racer Sebastien Bourdais headlined the event with sports car ace James French also competing. A group of nearly 40 amateur kart racers signed up to compete against the pro drivers in the endurance race. A schedule conflict with Indianapolis 500 testing taking place this weekend kept some drivers away, but previous participants such as Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan still sent their support.

An Extra $6 Million

With only 2 months to go until the 2021 Canadian Grand Prix is scheduled to take place in Montreal, the owners of Formula 1, Liberty Media, are demanding answers about the event…and more.

Under current health restrictions, the Canadian Grand Prix could theoretically run as planned on June 13th, 2021, but without race fans in the stands. According to a report in Montreal newspaper La Presse, Formula 1 is demanding an additional $6 million to cover the losses of local promoter Octane Racing Group should the race go on without an audience. The $6 million would cover revenue usually generated at the box office.

Octane Racing Groups has received criticism in the media, including by the CBC and the Globe and Mail, for not yet issuing refunds to some 2020 Canadian Grand Prix ticket holders…nine months after last year’s race was cancelled.

Francois Dumontier, president of Octane Racing Group, is also the boss of Canada’s national motorsport authority as delegated by the FIA the Groupe de Development Sportif

Circuit Mont-Tremblant

Lawrence Stroll has put Quebec’s historic Circuit Mont-Tremblant up for sale. The historic track was opened in 1964 as a direct competitor to Ontario’s established Mosport International Raceway. Mont-Tremblant hosted the Canadian Grand Prix in 1968 and 1970, went through several ownership changes before being purchased by Canadian billionaire Stroll in 2000, when his son Lance was only 2 years old. The track has since been completely resurfaced, has a new timing tower, and upgraded medical facilities that make the circuit quite suitable for international level sportscar races.

In 2010, a state-of-the-art kart racing track was built inside the famed circuit, and hosted the Canadian Karting Championships. That year, Marco DiLeo of Goodwood Kartways fame, qualified fastest of 49 racers in Rotax Max, Antonio Serravalle was the fastest in Rotax Micro Max, Zachary Claman Demelo beat the competition in Rotax Mini Max and in Rotax Max Junior none other than Ferrari Academy driver Lance Stroll took the win.

In the decade since, the track has not exactly been a hot-bed of racing activity. The Nissan Micra Cup raced there, and the karting track is still active (scheduled to host the Canada Open in 2021) but Mont-Tremblant also served as the Stroll private track, providing a facility for young Lance Stroll to develop as a driver, eventually reaching F1 in 2017.

The local municipality values the track at $8.5million but the true market value may be much higher. The site totals 304 acres and provides a potential buyer the opportunity to run a fully-equipped race track or convert the area into a residential subdivision.

Chance of IndyCar Racing in Toronto

Canadian motoring enthusiasts only have a couple big events to look forward to each summer.

The Formula 1 race in Montreal is still scheduled for June 13th 2021, but with schools, restaurants, and non-essential businesses closed, it’s unclear whether the event will occur. News recently broke of IMSA cancelling the big sports car race on July 2nd 2021, the event location switched from Mosport to Watkins Glen. Closer to home, the IndyCar race in Toronto is currently scheduled for July 11th 2021, but with the Ontario government triggering a stay at home order until early May, it’s unclear whether the event will go off as planned either.

Green Savoree Racing Promotions is still trying to hold the race in Toronto this year in the face of insurmountable odds. The City of Toronto has cancelled all major event permits until July 1st 2021. Although the Honda Indy Toronto is scheduled for after the moratorium ends, nearly a month of construction to set up the temporary street circuit is required. This would require the city to give the promoter special permission to construct the track at the same time that businesses are closed and locals can’t even visit a local go-kart track.

Our family at Demaras Racing sees no better way to jump start the local economy and bring joy back to the city of Toronto than going ahead with the IndyCars in 2021.

IMSA at CTMP a No-Go

Unfortunately, for the second year in a row, the Mobil 1 Sports Car Grand Prix has been cancelled. Following the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen held on June 27 at Watkins Glen International, the IMSA teams, will stick around the track for another week to compete in the WeatherTech 240 At The Glen the following weekend, July 2, the date originally scheduled for the Canadian event.

The event at Mosport / Canadian Tire Motorsports Park just east of Toronto is IMSA’s only Canadian race, and has been a highlight of the summer for the motorsports enthusiasts at Demaras Racing. The IMSA paddock is very open to spectators, with opportunities to get right up to the cars and meet the star racers, which is what makes it so fun. Last time the event ran in Canada in 2019, Daniel skipped a kart race but met up with Helio Catroneves and his Acura Prototype, while Chris Demaras had the opportunity to ask Danish sports car ace Jan Magnussen for his barber’s name.

Parade Cars

Reading about the ‘Pharaohs’ Golden Parade’ you’d be forgiven for thinking that it was a corny publicity stunt. But lay your eyes on the military troop carriers with custom bodywork that carried the ancient Egyptian mummies on their journey, and you’ll have to admit the ceremony was amazing.

A fleet of twenty-two extravagant vehicles carried eighteen pharaohs and four queens to the new National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Caro where they’ll be on display in nitrogen-filled capsules for preservation. The antiquities are from Egypt’s 17th dynasty, approximately 1550 BC. although some are as recent as the 12th Century BC. Each of the vehicles has been emblazoned with the name of their passenger in English, Arabic and hieroglyphs.

The historic journey will recreate the way pharaohs traveled along the Nile, with overhead illumination bathing the streets in a watery blue hue. The larger-than-life chariots aim to be as extravagant as possible with their gold and black ornamentation. Even the wheels have gold wheel covers that resemble Egyptian jewelry. The vehicles have ride on custom-made shock-absorbing suspension, and even the roads traveled on the journey were repaved to make the journey as smooth as possible.

Egypt hopes the new museum which opened this month, will help revitalize tourism, a major source of revenue to the nation. As with many countries, Egypt has been hard hit by ‘the virus’ but now that cases are under control, the Egyptian government hopes to welcome international visitors again…starting with this internationally watched parade.

Confusion

On April 1st 2021 the Ontario Government again ‘locked down’ the province to protect against the spread of ‘the virus‘. Canadians have been dealing with various restrictions for months, and with the exception of a vocal minority, Canucks have followed the safety protocols.

But when rules about which activities can open and which must close become increasingly confusing, or do not seem rooted in common sense, people are not likely to abide by those rules.

Outdoor recreational amenities permitted to open include:

  • parks and recreational areas
  • baseball diamonds
  • batting cages
  • soccer, football and sports fields
  • tennis courts and table tennis courts
  • basketball courts
  • BMX parks
  • skate parks
  • frisbee golf locations
  • cycling tracks and bike trails
  • horse riding facilities
  • shooting ranges and gun clubs
  • ice rinks
  • tobogganing hills
  • snowmobile, ice-skating and snowshoe trails
  • playgrounds
  • parks with outdoor fitness equipment
  • golf courses and driving ranges
  • ski hills

During the April shutdown, people living in Ontario can visit ice rinks, toboggan hills, snowmobile trails and ski hills. But during the Easter long-weekend, the temperatures were 15° and higher, none of those activities are even possible. Drive-in theatres are closed while golf clubs are open. How does sitting in a car at the 5 Drive-In expose a person to greater risk than puttering around in a golf cart?

While it makes sense the province wants to restrict motorsports crowds at the Saturday Night oval-track races at Sunset Speedway or the massive numbers of spectators at the Honda Indy Toronto, why would that mean that individuals can’t take their race cars out to a track?

Does this make sense?

Now That’s FUNNY

After zee German’s attempt at an April Fool’s Day prank tanked this week, many have been waiting to see if any other car companies would still roll out their April Fool’s Day gags. Or if the fallout from Voltswagen would scare marketing managers back to the drawing board the ask themselves “Is this actually funny?” The motoring world did not disappoint!


Alfa Romeo

The legendary Italian carmaker is utilizing “state-of-the-art electrochromic glass” to transform your boring drive to work into a virtual Italian view through the addition of real life Instagram filters, baked right into the side glass.


Bentley

Everyone is familiar with the Crewe crew’s rotating central display panel. GPS on the first panel, high performance gauges on the second, and up until now, the ‘plain old wood’ third panel has been replaced with an with integrated coffee machine to create an espresso or macchiato at the touch of a button.


Porsche

Stuttgart unrelieved the the Porsche Mission E Tractor, the world’s first all-electric, high performance tractor. Calling it “a revolution in farming” the 700 hp beast is expected to finally snatch the Nordschleife record from John Deere.


Lamborghini

The engineers at Sant’Agata want to give their customers everything. In response to many customer complaints about not being able to take their Huracan to the trailer park, the auto manufacturer has unveiled the Lamborghini Centro Stile with the same angular aesthetic as their supercars.


BMW

DRIVETRIBE hypothesized that “BMW drivers don’t use their turn signals because…they think of themselves higher than the people around them.”. Pretty harsh! So the funny Germans in Munich decided to poke fun at themselves, claiming to have removed a useless piece of equipment from their vehicles.

“Phone manufacturers did it. Tech giants too. So we decided to give it a go as well. What are we talking about? Removing obsolete features for the benefit of our planet. And according to the interwebs, the most underutilized feature on every BMW is the turn signal. Starting from 2022, all BMW models will be shipped without turn signals. After all, fewer parts means a smaller footprint, and less raw materials used.”

Important Sounding Voice, BWM


April Foolishness

Car companies often run joke ads on April 1st. It’s all in good fun. Who wouldn’t want a detachable Jeep Grille on their Rubicon that they could unlatch, put over a fire and BBQ steaks on. Except for all the bugs, the idea almost sounds real. That’s what makes it such a smart gag.

On Monday, Volkswagen announced it was rebranding itself as Voltswagen to reflect the company’s commitment to electric vehicles. But the prank isn’t actually goofy or funny. It sounded so real, media outlets reported it as news. Investors were drawn to VW’s new electric motoring direction (like Tesla!) and the stock price spiked by 5% by Tuesday morning trading. But on Wednesday afternoon, VW confessed the whole story was fake…an early April Fool’s Day prank. People were not amused.

You almost have to feel bad for VW. Instead of people giggling at the funny, phony name change prank, the public’s reaction was excitement that Volkswagen, whose name is still dirty from the Dieselgate scandal, actually cares about the environment! Then to have confess that it was all a joke…oops.

Driving in Toronto is SCARY

On Tuesday a 26-year-old nurse (on her way to work vaccinating the homeless) was involved in a collision on the Gardiner Expressway. Her Mini Cooper was hit by a dump truck, then pushed along the highway for hundreds of meters.

The video went viral, as the elephant vs flea image reminded drivers that driving in Toronto is ROUGH!

“…I honestly just feel like I’ve been hit by a truck which ironically I have been…”

Courtenay Erhardt, MIni motorist


Only a few days later, another Toronto motoring story emerged. A saw blade from a passing vehicle and embedded itself in the front bumper of a Mercedes. If the blade had impacted the car a little higher, the results could have been bad!.

The shaken-up motorist was travelling northbound on “The Gore” road (not making that up) north of Toronto, when a circular saw blade fell off a construction vehicle travelling southbound. After bouncing on the pavement, the blade sliced through the front bumper.