Karting Helmet

Cool social media post from Scuderia Ferrari F1 driver Charles Leclerc, who’s running a special helmet this weekend. Note…that’s the late, great Jules Bianchi pushing young Leclerc around the karting paddock.

After 19 years I’m bringing back my first design from when I started karting not far from here. I remember when I drew the design Spider-Man was on TV and I tried my best to make it look like his web. I’ve got many great memories from this part of my life, it’s going to be special wearing this again tomorrow

Charles Leclerc

No. 4 Grave Digger Nascar

A one-race sponsorship deal between Feld Entertainment and Stewart-Haas Racing has brought together two of the biggest symbols of American-ness. NASCAR and Grave Digger.

Kevin Harvick will race at Nashville Superspeedway this weekend with a Grave Digger paint job on his No. 4 race car.

For Demaras Racing this moment brings plenty of nostalgic memories. Chris has been dragging Daniel to monster truck shows since Daniel was a kid. It’s been a few years since the last one, but they always root for Grave Digger!

Good luck Harvick!

In-Car Tests Resume

The wait is over for drivers wanting to book their G1 or G2 driver’s test in Ontario. As of Monday, June 14 2021, driver’s licensing offices have hired 167 additional temporary driver examiners to help clear up the backlog of tests since Ontario shut down in-car testing in April.

So as you’re motoring around Toronto, just keep in mind the driver in the next lane might just be on road test. Or still learning to drive. So RELAX…give some space, and be patient.

Remember, even that nerves-of-steel armored truck driver Leo Prinsloo who got away from the bad guys last month, was once a nervous teenager trying to get his D.L.

Outdoor Amenities

Since there’s been no racing in 2021, the Demaras family has found new ways to stick together. After all, the family that plays together stays together. So this year, it’s been all about camping! The family’s new Jayco RV is at a private campsite which is not impeded by provincial restrictions.

So, with an old Samsung TV and a high-speed internet connection, the family was able to watch Formula 1 qualifying live from Baku.

Karting is the Problem, not Formula 1

Three very interesting articles on Planet F1 this week. Alfa Romeo F1 team principal Frederic Vasseur stole headlines with his “Karting is the problem, not Formula 1” where he muses that the rapid ascension of drivers up through junior ladder series does not adequately prepare them for the difficulties of F1.

Interestingly, F1 rookie Yuki Tsunoda gave an interview to the same website in which he explained that the biggest surprise he experienced is the amount of media work required, leaving his lacking energy on race weekends.

Then, as if to show that history is doomed to repeat itself, an article about Mercedes signing 13-year-old kart racer from China to a driver development program. Interesting reads…especially side by side.

Helio Alves de Castro Neves

On Sunday, the Demaras Racing crew was ready. Not for competition. There’s no racing in Ontario. No…we were ready for TV. The Greatest Spectacle in Racing did not disappoint!

The cover art on the Indianapolis 500 program guide foreshadowed the event. A painting by retired racer and three-time Indy 500 winner Johnny Rutherford showed the winning cars of AJ Foyt (’61, ’64, ’67, ’77), Al Unser (’70, ’71, ’78, ’87) and Rick Mears (’79, ’84, ’88, ’91). These are the only men to have won Indy four times.

With his win on Sunday, Helio Castroneves has now joined one of the most exclusive clubs in racing history as a four time Indianapolis 500 winner.

And to think, when Daniel Demaras met him at Mosport a few seasons ago, he was only a three-time winner, but already a legend.

In the News

As usual, the news today was filled with Ontario’s second-dose strategy, and updates on where to get vaccinated in Toronto. But one news story, reporting on the number of new cases today, used a a picture of a man walking past a Toronto mural. It’s an incredible image (picture from The Canadian Press) that juxtaposes the stark reality of life during the pandemic against a colourful, contorted car. It needs a cool title like ‘racing to recovery’.

Apparently the green ‘hot rod’ graffiti is somewhere on Eastern Ave, in Toronto’s east end. The cartoonish Ford Model A is by Toronto artist dudemanart. What a great location for a photoshoot!

Travel Plans

Continued lockdowns and travel restrictions mean vacation is going to be a little closer to home in summer 2021. With the above image in mind (looks just like his wife’s Mini Cooper) Chris headed out to the local RV dealer to find something fun for the family this summer.

Instead, Chris came home with 7,000 lbs of American-made camping excess. At 33′ long, the Jayco recreational vehicle absolutely dwarfs Chris’ monster truck. Plans to take the RV on a trip to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway next year are already underway.

Special thanks to ‘Uncle Trev’ for helping get the RV home without issues.

This Sucker’s Quick

It’s really cool that the US has a ‘car guy’ as president.

President Biden visited Ford’s Electric Vehicle Center in Michigan this week to promote his plan to help the U.S. auto industry, and their transition to electric vehicles. Biden shared the stage with significant Ford pickup trucks of the past, including a fat-fender F-100, a Raptor and the new F-150 Lightning EV pickup, making its first public appearance.

It’s common knowledge that US Presidents must surrender their driver’s licenses, and cannot drive while in office. But after his speech, Biden took a pre-production electric Ford pickup out on the private test track and kicked the crap out of it. No matter what you think of his politics, you have to hand it to the man. He used a PR event as an excuse to get back behind the wheel of a 563 HP monster of a truck.

Confusion Creates Chaos

Ontario’s roadmap to re-opening announcement last week was a little confusing. Exactly what counts as an outdoor recreational activity? A go-kart track looks a lot like a golf course. Acres and acres of grass lands with quarter-sized motorized vehicles scurrying around. Yet when Daniel and his sister Michelle hopped the fence at Goodwood Kartways on Saturday (to drop some tools in their garage) they were the only people on the property. The place would normally be buzzing on a sunny weekend in May. Instead, totally desolate. It was almost spooky.

Compare to Toronto Motorsports Park in Cayuga where they were allowing motorheads on track for ‘recreational’ driving this weekend. No competition, no timing, no spectators. Just the opportunity for 30 people to take their sports cars out on the road course for some fun. On Monday, June 14th, race tracks will be allowed to re-open with capacity restrictions as part of Stage 1. Until then, recreational lapping seems to be OK

And without a way for people to satisfy their ‘need for speed’ this was the scene at a mall parking lot in Pickering. At least two-hundred people gathered for an impromptu cars show. Dudes were revving their engines passing through the crowd, and there was a Honda Civic doing donuts with the driver’s door open. Clearly, safety was a priority!

City officials were not impressed.

“C’mon folks. We know that lockdown has been difficult for all of us. However, let’s not be careless especially now that we can see light at the end of this long tunnel. We’re close to returning to some level of normalcy. Don’t do a disservice to the rest of our community” 

Pickering Mayor, Dave Ryan

Despite hundreds of vehicles, and thousands of spectators in attendance, Durham Regional Police did not lay any charges for violating the Reopening Ontario Act.