Motor Racing

2022 Spring Trophy Races – Fast Friday

~ by Chris Demaras ~

Grassroots motorsports are intriguing. There are independents wrenching on their own equipment and big teams with double-decker, triple-axle haulers. Somewhere in the middle is Vallis Motor Sport who’ve been competing in the F1200 for 45 years, they have the knowledge and experience without the high cost of a big organization.

Even though the BRD race car was manufactured before the turn of the century, a full rebuild over the winter, plus some fresh paint and decals, made it look new again. Daniel was dazzled by the sight of the No. 12 race car. It looks like nothing else in the F1200 paddock. It is unique. Sticker tires on 15″ Fuchs wheels give the F1200 a little vintage 911 look to it.

Friday at the track included 5 practice sessions peppered throughout the day. The weather was cool in the morning sessions, but remained dry throughout. The F1200s shared the track with much quicker cars like F1600s, Formula Mazda and vintage F4 cars. The first sessions were a feeling out process for Daniel, trying to correlate the track IRL and in the SIM. Bill Vallis was in the pit lane with Daniel, providing words of wisdom and encouragement.

Years ago, Daniel raced at the old karting track, and would steal glances at the big track as open-wheelers raced past. Now, Daniel is the one driving the open-wheeler as kids race karts are in the background. It’s a real turning point.

Months of preparation went into this day. Daniel acquired his CASC racing license at Shannonville, ran exploratory laps at Cayuga in VMS’s No. 27 car, and participated in multiple sessions in the Force Dynamics simulator at HIP racing against coach Venditti.

The biggest gains were from the LDRC, DriveTeq and 6th Gear Motorsports track days in the Miata. The British racing green beauty is similar in size to the F1200, but with twice the weight and horsepower. It made for an excellent training tool.

Friday was a chance to shake down the car, and give the driver an opportunity to get comfortable behind the wheel. The sessions that count would happen over the weekend.


Friday

Out of the Miata and into the F1200 for Friday practice at the BEMC Spring Trophy Races.

6th Gear in a 5 Speed

May 4th was Daniel Demaras’ third and final pre-season training day in the Mazda Miata. After a practice day with the LDRC Series and a lapping day with DriveTeq, coach Venditti arranged a full-day at CTMP with 6th Gear Motorsports. This one was a little different.

The 6th Gear clubhouse at CTMP is just incredible. It’s like Han’s garage in F&F: Tokyo Drift, if everyone was Italian and took place in Toronto instead. Club executives welcomed everyone warmly, making sure Chris, Daniel and John were fully hopped-up on espresso before going out on track. Even though the club has a full kitchen, they arranged catering by Garage Guy BBQ.

Mixed conditions is the only way to describe the weather. While driving in from Toronto, rain fell steadily, and the track surfaces were saturated when the Demaras Racing boys arrived. But wet weather running is exactly what Daniel needed before the start of the F1200 season.

There were plenty of heavy-hitters at Mosport. Not just Porsche GT4 RSs, but full on IMSA race cars that competed at Daytona.

Despite the Miata being equipped with a new-ish set of Hankook RS-4 tires, the damp but drying track conditions would be challenging, as many drivers found out. With guidance, Daniel was able to keep the Mazda on the island the whole day, and avoided spins, while still setting good lap times.

Without question, this was Daniel’s longest practice day. Rather than splitting the seat-time with his son, Chris sat out this event, and just played a support role by handling fuel and tires.

The 1999 Miata held up well, without any mechanical issues. At nearly fours hours of track time, the Mazda worked hard, but the 1.8L engine is strong and the suspension is dialed in just right.

As the end of the day approached, Daniel had a semi-private track. Only a handful of cars circulated in the final hour, with most drivers returning to the clubhouse for home-cooked Porchetta sandwiches and spiducci skewers hot off the grill.

6th Gear Motorsports is a total class act, and their event was the highlight of spring training. Plans are already underway to return for their June track day!


VIDEO: 6th Gear Motorsports

What a great day at the track. The guys from 6th Gear Motorsports were friendly and inviting, and their clubhouse is second to none. We got nearly four hours of seat time as the day went from rain, through changing conditions, the bright and sunny.

The Project

Chris Demaras and Daniel Demaras only met Jim and John from HIP Motorsports earlier this year, but the combined efforts of these men on ‘the project‘ has helped preparations for F1200 racing. Countless hours spent in the racing simulator since February has helped ready Daniel Demaras for his first race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. Jim has been patient and insightful, allowing Daniel to get the most out of the Force Dynamics CR-401 Continuous Rotation Simulator that is the centerpiece of HIP’s driver training facility.

John has shown Daniel the racing line, braking techniques and a sparring partner in a virtual Formula Vee on the iRacing platform. Also, John has sat in the right seat of the Miata as Demaras embarked on two track days at CTMP including the recent LDRC practice day plus the DriveTeq lapping day. John even took the time between SIM races to teach Daniel how to properly fit a HANS device.

As a rookie, there is no pressure in Daniel’s first F1200 season. The only expectations is to take the opportunity to learn a new racing discipline. But with Jim and John at HIP Motorsports helping with the project, Daniel is in the best position possible to start the season.


An Inspired Design

Here’s a sneak peek at the No. 12 Vallis Motor Sport F1200 car which Daniel Demaras will drive in this year’s Canadian F1200 Championship.

The car was designed and painted by Taylord Designs who was also responsible for the incredible airbrushing on Daniel’s Bell GP3 helmet. The car is inspired by the helmet design, as well as classic Team Lotus and modern Aston Martin Formula 1 Team.

The colour really ties the look together. Chris & Daniel chose the same British Racing Green as their 1999 Mazda MX-5 Miata track car. Taylor used the same hi-viz yellow as Demaras’ helmet, while also adding in carbon fiber panels outlined in a silver pinstripe.

Car number and driver’s name decals will be added to the race car mid-week, with sponsors being announced at the BEMC Spring Trophy Races on May 7th and 8th 2022.


Formula 1200 Drivers Association

F1200 is an open wheel single seat racing series that has been competing for over 50 years. The strict formula rules are designed to promote driver development. Daniel Demaras will compete in the 2022 Canadian Formula 1200 Championship, and his driver profile has been added to the F1200 website.

For the third year in succession F1200 drivers will compete in the VARAC scheduled event by racing in the formula classic group. These 7 race weekends make up the Canadian Formula 1200 Championship and are totaled for the final championship’s standings.

2020/2021 F1200 Champion

Congratulations to Phil Wang, Canadian Formula 1200 and VARAC F1200 Champion for 2020 and 2021.

Although some series continue to delay awards ceremonies, the CASC not only had a display at the big Motorama show this past weekend, they used the well-attended opportunity to recognize top drivers like Phil Wang in Formula 1200 and Paul Subject in Formula Libre.

Phil has been extremely helpful in getting new drivers into the series, and has been instrumental in helping Daniel Demaras get prepared. Overall, you’d have to say that Phil Wang is a top-notch guy.