Last weekend, Mosport International Raceway (now called CTMP) celebrated its 60th anniversary. The legendary Canadian racing circuit was established during the first ‘golden age’ of motorsports. The track played host to “original” series like Formula Vee, which still competes in Canada today at F1200.
In the US, the The Vintage Sports Car Drivers Association is planning a 60th anniversary celebration of Formula Vee at its September 2023 event at the Elkhart Lake Vintage Festival at Road America.
“One of auto racing’s most popular racing series, Formula Vee has been an international steppingstone for Formula One champions Niki Lauda, Emerson Fittipaldi, Nelson Piquet and Keke Rosberg. Formula Vee’s popularity is due to its comparative affordability built around original VW engines. Because the cars’ performance capabilities are very similar, a Formula Vee race typically features cars in very close nose-to tail-competition — making the races exciting for participants and spectators alike.”
Alex Rorke, VSCDA President
The open-wheel, single-seat, motor racing formula continues to be popular after nearly 6 decades, and in 2021 the Formula Vee was developed and released for the iRacing simulation software. Everything old is new again!
With Daniel Demaras contemplating stepping up to F1200 next year, he’ll need to join a good team if he wants to see solid results. Anthony Simone (team principal of New Speed Motorsports, Daniel’s kart racing team) recommended Vallis Motor Sport. Way back in 1997, at the start of his racing career, Simone raced for Vallis in F1200 and suggested Daniel meet with Bill, the veteran team owner.
Who is Bill Vallis and how did he get involved with Formula 1200?
Bill Vallis is a car guy that became fascinated with the VW Beetle as a teenager. Even though other opportunities presented themselves, he was destined to become an automobile mechanic. They weren’t called technicians back then.
Bill apprenticed in a large shop that catered to the North America market. Before his apprenticeship was completed, Bill was their foreign car expert specializing in VW’s. There wasn’t room for another mechanic so when he received his license he moved on. Fortunately, his next employer was a serious drag racer and although Bill prefers road racing it was a great learning opportunity.
From there Bill opened his own shop working mainly on foreign cars, VWs and eventually eased into 1200cc Formula Vee preparation. When the transformation to racing was complete, he renamed the business to Vallis Motor Sport. In addition to supplying Formula Vee engines, transaxles and other parts, he built a few Formula Vees and initiated his arrive and drive program that continues to this day.
In 1993 Bill bought the right to be sole manufacturer of the 1200cc BRD Formula Vee, designed by mechanical engineer Brad Beunting who has since designed and built a Formula Ford 2000, worked with Formula 1 and Trans-Am teams. Beunting’s design criteria were simplicity, light but very rugged construction, good aerodynamics and handling. BRD’s will accommodate drivers that are over 6ft tall and 200lbs in weight.
VMS has produced 33 BRD’s, several of which being sold into the States. Vallis Motor Sport engines have won 15 National Championships, compete successfully in the US and strictly meet the CASA and SCCA rules, as does the entire car. At Formula 1200 Drivers Association races, 50% of the field is comprised of BRD’s.
Because of Vallis Motor Sport, the Formula 1200 Drivers Association is the only road racing group in Canada that has direct manufacturers support at the track. Bill attends all Formula 1200 races with advice, assistance, and spare parts regardless of where the car was purchased.
Although many other classes have come and gone, Formula 1200 and Bill have had a non stop involvement right from the beginning. Starting out as a driver then branching out to preparation, engine and drivetrain building, complete car building and complete Formula 1200 racing programs, valuable knowledge has been gained along the way.
It was another busy weekend for Demaras Racing as Chris raced in Round 9 of Friday Night CRKC series and Daniel competed in TRAK Race 14 on Saturday. But on Sunday, there was something special on tap. Leaving the kart track behind, Chris and Daniel went to meet the Vallis Motor Sport team at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.
Bill Vallis (below, in blue) builds, prepares and contests Formula 1200 cars. He’s been involved in the series since the 1980’s providing full trackside support to select racers in the Canadian F1200 Championship. For 2022, Daniel Demaras is ready to take the step from karts to cars, and Bill is the man to give Daniel the best chance of success.
A meeting was arranged at CTMP for Daniel to try a BRD FV1200 on for size. The BRD was designed by mechanical engineer Brad Beunting to be light yet rugged with good aerodynamics and handling. Climbing into the cockpit, Demaras felt the car was snug, but not that much different than the F2000 car he drove at Cayuga last year.
An interesting side note; Anthony Simone (team principal at NSM, Daniel Demaras’ kart racing team) raced in F1200 back in 1997. His team; Vallis Motor Sport!
Demaras also had a chance to meet veteran F1200 racer Phil Wang, who pilots the No. 177 car. Phil is a multi-time race winner who came to F1200 after racing at Goodwood Kartways from 2000 to 2007. He describes the series as the best step from karts to cars. Competitive and cost effective, without being too much, too soon.
Demaras headed over to Turn 1 to watch the F1200 cars head out on the foggy track, shortly before noon. The cars are very evenly matched, all using 1200 cc, air-cooled, four-cylinder VW engines. The series prevents competitors trying to outspend their way to victory lane by using, for example, spec 195/60 R14 Falken tires which last a full season. This is a series where the driver’s ability makes all the difference.
The similarity between Briggs racing and F1200 was quite obvious. Keeping momentum up in the corners is very important, due to the relatively low horsepower. Smoothness behind the wheel is rewarded and effective use of ‘the draft’ is critical
The appeal for Daniel Demaras is F1200 series allows him the opportunity to use the skills he’s acquired in kart racing, while providing him the chance he’s always wanted. To get into a racecar and compete on the big track..
It is time for Demaras to step away from the karts he’s races since childhood, and step up to open-wheel racing in Formula 1200.
In 1961 Mosport Park opened its doors to drivers and fans for the very first time. The challenging 10 turn road course brought some of the greatest drivers and cars from around the world to this place back then and it’s still doing so to this day.
Over the years Canadian Tire Motorsport Park has provided Canadians and racing fans from around the world with some incredible racing; everything from Formula 1, USAC IndyCar, NASCAR, World SportsCar Championship, IMSA and CanAm.
This weekend, the Canadian Automobile Sport Clubs (CASC-OR) will hold the final major event of the road racing season at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. The 2021 CASC Celebration of Motorsport will run on Saturday October 2nd and Sunday October 3rd, 2021.
The following categories will be racing:
Pirelli Tire GT Sprints
Toyo Tire F1600
VARAC Vintage Historic
VARAC Formula Classic (includes F1200)
Formula Libre / Formula 4
The FEL Sports Car Championship and Emzone Radical Cup Canada will also be joining the weekend.
Although classified as IndyCar rookies this year, No. 48 Jimmy Johnson raced 686 times in NASCAR and No. 51 Romain Grosjean competed 179 times in Formula 1. On Friday before the IndyCar race at Laguna Seca, the two seasoned veterans swapped helmets as a sign of mutual respect, and friendship.
But Sunday on track, a charging Grosjean launched his car into ‘the corkscrew’ and absolutely body-checked Johnson out of his way on route to a podium finish. So much for mutual respect!
The 2021 Canadian federal election is tonight, with incumbent Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a tight battle against Conservative candidate Erin O’Toole, while the NDP’s Jagmeet Singh is poised to become the ‘kingmaker’ to help form a minority government, and the Green Party are fielding candidate Annamie Paul.
You know where the candidates stand on foreign relations, and their parties’ economic plans. But Demaras Racing wants to know about their cars. What vehicle a person chooses as personal transportation, both now as a national political figure or years ago when first starting out, tells a lot about an individual.
Here are the candidates.
Liberal Party: Justin Trudeau
The article Canada Elects a Car Guy As Prime Minister kind of puts Trudeau in an early lead. The first car Justin drove was an El Camino, later he bought a 1972 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE, drove a Volkswagen Jetta TDI while living in Vancouver, and also drove his late brother Michel’s old Ford Bronco. But the crown jewel in the Trudeau fleet is his father Pierre Elliot Trudeau’s 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL which Justin drove on his wedding day. Nice.
New Democratic Party: Jagmeet Singh
The man wears well tailored suits, has an extensive Rolex collection, but he’s always being seen on that silly bicycle! How do people take him seriously! Easy…just wait until he folds up the bike and pops it into the trunk of his red BMW coupe. Excellent choice, sir!
Conservative Party: Erin O’Toole
Apparently this guy used to fly helicopters in the Royal Canadian Air Force, but the closest we could find to a picture of him not being chauffeured around in a black car was a vinyl-wrapped campaign vehicle with the fuel filler in his pie-hole. Also, there’s some online attack ads implying O’Toole’s an old pickup truck, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Green Party: Annamie Paul
Not going to say anything negative about the Green Party as there is some support for this group within the Demaras Racing team. Expected to find images of Annamie driving a Prius or a Chevy Volt or something like that. However, their leader does not seem to share our love of motor vehicles.
Whatever your political leaning, get out there and vote today!