KartStars 2: Saturday Brief

First pole position for Daniel Demaras! Incredible battles in Briggs Masters all day long, culminating in a Demaras’ first regional racing series podium. Lot’s more to say, but now it’s time to prepare for Sunday’s KartStars Senior race at Innisfil Indy.


KartStars 2: Friday Practice

Daniel Demaras and Chris Demaras arrived at Innisfil Indy before 8:00 am for Friday practice. None of the drivers had arrived yet, but Leonard arrived before everyone.

The team boss arrived with bags of ice in the trunk of his Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder, and Chris couldn’t resist posing for a picture.

Friend of the family Keidon Fletcher was there, preparing for another assault on Briggs Senior on Saturday. He was accompanied by his father Scott and crew chief Marty.

Daniel Demaras, Keidon Fletcher, Matthew White and later Eli Yanko were some of the racers preparing their karts for a weekend of racing.

Throughout the day, Leonard D’Arrigo kept a close eye on Daniel, preparing, planning, strategizing for the big race; KartStars round two at Innisfil Indy.


KartStars Shifts Focus to Innisfil Indy

PRESS RELEASE

After a successful opening round at Goodwood Kartways last weekend, the focus of the KartStars Canada Championship now shifts to Round 2 at Innisfil Indy, to be contested this coming weekend! Registration is now open for the July 25/26 event and will close this Thursday at 8pm. Series organized practice will take place on Friday, just as it did at the opening event. The same KartStars Canada discounts apply for those who pre-register, and weekend racing will follow a format very similar to Round One.

There were over 160 entries at the kick-off event, and organizer Daniel Di Leo was very excited when speaking on behalf of the organizational team and officials.

“We are all just thrilled that the event ran flawlessly considering the challenging times we are in. In total we had twelve classes take to the track over the weekend, and the event ran incident free – not a single red flag! We had some challenges from Mother Nature, but the team kept sessions on schedule all weekend long. It was very impressive. We have also noted the feedback we received over the three days, and are encouraged that many spoke positively about the emphasis we put on technical inspections and other details KartStars has incorporated. We just want to say a huge Thank You to all that participated, and congratulate the winners, podium finishers and those that won awards in the random draws. We all hope to see you back at the track in Innisfil.”

The following drivers won awards at the podium presentations:

  • Vega Tire Briggs Racing Slicks winner: Daniel Rampino
  • Vega Tire Rok Racing Slicks winner: Christian Papp
  • Rok Cup Canada ‘Free Entry’ winner: Igor Manukhov
  • Rok Cup Canada ‘Free Entry’ winner: Tony Demarco
  • Briggs Racing ‘Free Entry’ winner: Lily Flintoff
  • Briggs Racing ‘Free Entry’ winner: Jake Cowden
  • KartStars ‘Win and You’re In’ winner: Austin Boyle

Here is a link to on-line registration for Round 2:

Here is a link to the Friday ‘Series Controlled’ Practice Session for Round 2: 

Here is a link to the Saturday and Sunday Race Day Schedules for Round 2:


Briggs Bankruptcy

Iconic small-engine manufacturer Briggs & Stratton has filed for ‘Chapter 11’ bankruptcy.

The Milwaukee-based company is the world’s largest manufacturer of small gasoline powered engines, having sold over 125 million units. However, it’s been losing money for some time and carried large debt when the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic hit.

The company was founded in 1908 by Stephen Briggs, an inventor, and Harold Stratton, an investor, and incorporated in 1910. It initially grew by making parts for the booming automobile industry – starter switches were an early core product – small engines for such revolutionary products as washing machines as well as garden tractors, cultivators and generators.

In 1953, it introduced the first lightweight aluminum engine that found a ready market in lawn mowers just as Americans were flocking to the suburbs. The company produced more than 2 million engines a year on average throughout the 1950s.

Briggs had four manufacturing plants in the Milwaukee area at one time. But the company, which was hurt by an increase in foreign competition in the 1980s, also had a history of conflict with labor unions and over the decades moved much of its manufacturing to other states.

Briggs & Stratton lost $54 million in its 2019 fiscal year and $11 million in 2018. The company had short-term debt of $597 million. In June, B&S missed a $6 million interest payment. The board of directors then gave executives $5 million in bonuses (including $1.2 million for company President and CEO Todd Teske) before filing for bankruptcy.

However, this is not necessarily the end for Briggs & Stratton. Chapter 11 is a form of bankruptcy that involves reorganization of debts and assets. Private equity firm KPS Capital Partners LP has entered into an asset purchase agreement with Briggs to buy the company’s assets for approximately $550 million.

“KPS is committed to the expeditious acquisition of Briggs & Stratton to provide certainty of outcome and confidence in the new company’s future. The new Briggs & Stratton will be conservatively capitalized and not encumbered by its predecessor’s significant liabilities.”

KPS Capital Partners LP

KartStars 1: Sunday Race Report

After a long, hot day of racing on Saturday, Goodwood Kartways sprung back into action Sunday morning for day two of KarStars Canada round one.

After competing in the new KarStars Senior category on Saturday, Daniel returned to Briggs Masters in a bigger than usual field with drivers from across Ontario competing. Demaras started strong in morning practice, leading all four laps of his session in kart No. 412 with a setup refined over three days at the track. Qualifying saw Daniel use the draft effectively by linking up with Levon Beaudin who qualified second to Daniel’s fourth.

The first of two Heat Races got off to bad start for Daniel as his entire row simply didn’t “go” at the drop of green flag. Dropping back in the pack, Daniel had to go through the grass to avoid an incident at Turn 4. After falling to 13th on the first lap, Daniel started pushing, making his way through the field up to 9th place by the end of the race.

Heat Race 2 got off to a much better start, Daniel dropped one position on the outside of Turn One right off the start, but later took advantage of a collision between front runners Eli Yanko and Marc Stehle to finish fourth. Due to several other drivers having DNFs and inconsistent finishes, Daniel combination of finishes netted him a third place starting place in the pre-final, his highest starting position of the day’s sessions.

As the pre-finals started for other classes, it started raining at the track. What started as insignificant sprinkles of rain became just enough to put on rain tires, until the kart was on grid when a wave of torrential rain came over the track, causing the ongoing race to be red flagged until the rain held up. After half an hour of hiding in the tent, further setting up the kart for the super slippery conditions, the rain slowed down and the track workers began clearing up the puddles on the circuit.

After much waiting, the Masters field head out on a soaking wet track for the pre final. The field got off to a cautious start, with Daniel dropping a position to Yanko on the first lap. As the polesitter spun in turn four, Daniel settled into a groove, briefly running behind Stehle until he too spun off, allowing Daniel to take third place back. Stehle rejoined the pack, getting passed Daniel and looking for a move on the second place driver. Daniel went to the inside in turn five and passed both of them in one go. Driving safe and smart, Daniel brought the kart home in second place.

Between the pre-final and the final, the rain stopped and the track dried up, allowing everyone to run slicks for the final. Daniel started on the front row, P2, next to his new rival, Yanko.

Starting in second place meant Daniel would be on stuck on the outside through the corners 1 2 3 and 4. Daniel dropped down to sixth, but immediately made the pass for fifth in turn 9.

As the first four drivers formed a pack and used the draft to gap the field, Daniel began to run them down. Despite being 10 kart lengths back and having nobody to draft with, Daniel set fast lap after fast lap, much to the delight of announcer Mike Preston. Demaras took advantage of the leaders squabbling and joined the pack with three laps to go. Preparing an assault, Daniel put a move on Eli Yanko in turn 5, but the veteran slammed the door shut, cutting Daniel off at the apex, and a collision resulted. Daniel dropped all the way down to eleventh. Daniel drove furiously to try to recover positions, taking 9th place at the checkered flag, later promoted to 8th after a competitor was given a penalty.

After a day of hard work where the No. 412 New Speed Motorsport kart Powered by PRO was one of the fastest on track, an unfortunate incident stopped Demaras from taking a podium finish. Despite mediocre results at KartStars round one, Daniel is filled with confidence in his ability and outright speed. Look out for Demaras as he strives for racing glory at KarStars round two at Innisfil Indy next weekend!


KartStars 1: Saturday Race Report

KartStars Canada is a regional series bringing competitors in from across Ontario. It’s unique format provides racing over 2 days for 2-cycle classes, and single day competition for 4-cycle classes, such as Briggs Masters that Daniel competes in. On the advice of his team, Daniel decided to race in KartStars Senior, a catch-weight category partway between Briggs Senior (340 lbs) and Briggs Masters (375 lbs).

Without any pressure for results, Daniel started his day 8th in morning warm-up. Running on warn-out practice tires, but a very slick looking new livery.

The race format was unusual, providing a qualifying session followed by Heat Race 1 and Heat Race 2. Demaras was classified 7th in each session. His performance was consistent, and on fresh qualifying tires, Daniel set a personal best time of the day with his 43.033 second lap.

Working for the first time with Enzo Chiovitti Jr, the day was supposed to be a day long practice session in preparation for the Briggs Masters race scheduled for Sunday. Demaras had his first opportunity of the year to race Skylar his back-up race engine, after his number one race engine Uniqua powered him to three podium finishes. Unfortunately, Skyler just didn’t put out the same level of power, so it would be down to Daniel’s driving skill to bring the result. Demaras started the pre-final P7.

The race started with promise, with Daniel holding his position against aggressive rivals. As two competitors karts collided on the exit of Turn 5, Daniel saw his opportunity for a double overtake. As he drove around the outside of Turn 6, the battling pair collected Daniel, pushing him off track. Demaras scrambled to return to the track, running wide in Turn 7 before being hit again sending him into a half-spin. Two more karts drove over the No 412’s nosecone before a final kart T-boned the right side of Demaras kart, bending a spindle.

Despite kart damage and a flattened fairing, Demaras soldiered on, setting his fastest lap on the 9th circuit in the closing stages of the race. Daniel put in a recovery drive, dragging his kart back up to 12th.

Leonard D’Arrigo and Enzo Chiovitti attacked the No. 412 as soon Daniel returned to the paddock. Chris Demaras became very good friends with Marco Di Leo this weekend, heading back to the parts shop multiple times.

Showing battle-scars, New Speed Motorsports had repairs done, and Demaras ready to attack the track in the Final.

Despite starting 12th in the Final, Daniel used the draft, racecraft and aggression to move his way up to 8th position at the checkered flag.

It was an up and down day. Demaras improved as the kart was fine tuned by Leonard, Enzo and Liam helping Daniel improve his lap times, cutting his gap to the leader from 1.080 sec. in morning practice to 0.565 sec. in the Final. Not bad for an under-weight Master running in KartStars Senior. After the highs of last lap, last corner passes to a pretty rough impact, Daniel ended the day exactly where he started, finishing the day P8.