Happy New Year

Demaras Racing had some great results last year, competing in TRAK, MIKA, MRFKC, CRKC and K1 Speed events in Canada and the U.S. The team is looking forward to 2020 where Chris will challenge in CRKC, while Daniel will begin the transition from karts to cars under the guidance of Team PRO. 2020 is looking bright!

What Does Santa Drive?

Saw a picture of Santa towing home his sleigh on Wednesday after a hard day at work. With the green Christmas we had, Santa took the opportunity to bring out his Austin Healy Sprite for one more drive before winter storage. Which got me thinking. What does Santa drive?

Santa was an early adopter of the automobile, as shown in this 20th century illustration. The advent of the motor-carriage allowed St. Nick increased mobility without the need for more flying reindeer.

But Santa isn’t just about utilitarian vehicles built for one purpose. He’as all about style. For example, this image of Santa in a Bugatti and exactly one package. Guess he got something special for Mrs. Claus that year.

Young at heart, Santa Clause had picked up a ‘blizzard white’ Corvette convertible in the swinging sixties. A perfect weekend get-away car for just him and the Mrs.

And then for the years when Santa’s had too much eggnog and Mrs. Claus has to do the rounds, there’s her sporty Karmann Ghia.

In 2019, Dodge created a one of a kind Challenger Hellcat sleigh for the jolly big man. It really helped get the Christmas gift deliveries done on time.

Canadian Karting News

What the Heck is Going On in Ontario?

~ by Cody Schindel ~

By now, just about everyone has heard the news from Goodwood Kartways, Mosport Kartways and ASN Canada that was released in the past week and a half. So after having some time to digest and gather more information, here’s a little more as to what is going on.

Let’s start with the ASN Canada news.

There is no argument that Paul Cooke, the leader of the ASN Canada FIA for more than two decades, has managed his position well past the age of retirement, but the man loved his job. While some didn’t think he would ever retire, it was bound to happen at some point and I’ve had a conversation with more than a few people as what we think would happen after Paul. His experience and expertise will be nearly impossible to replace by one, let alone two people.

With that being said, I’m happy Paul has decided to retire. He deserves it and his legacy will not be forgotten. I know many people are happy to see him go, and for that, I’m a little disappointed because they are happy for the wrong reason. ASN Canada did so much for the sport of karting in Canada, and yes he did make some decisions that not everyone has been pleased with, but he made them with integrity and often stuck to his guns. Paul, thank you.

Finally, for those saying ASN Canada was forced to resign by the FIA, you are incorrect. It was ASN Canada’s decision to resign. End of story.

Looking to 2020, nothing has been confirmed as to who or what will become our new sanctioning body. I’ve been notified of a business filing out of BC, but nothing has confirmed what that filing means at this point but I’m sure we will find out soon.

Drivers looking to race internationally this winter…

Speaking with the organizers from ROK Cup USA and SuperKarts USA, Canadians will not require an international license to compete in their events this winter. Canadians competing in the Florida Winter Tour and Challenge of the Americas will not need an international license or letter of permission to compete, while the SKUSA Winter Series drivers will need a SKUSA license.

Kart Stars Canada vs MotoMaster Ron Fellows Karting Championship

It appears there won’t be any shortage of races in Ontario in 2020. Goodwood Kartways announced following their separation with the Mosport Karting Centre that they will take matters into their own hands and have announced a five-race series schedule for 2020, with locations to be determined. It has been named Kart Stars Canada and has association and prizes from Rok Cup Canada.

At the same time, MotoMaster and Ron Fellows have informed me that they too will host a series of races in 2020, maintaining the same series name and corporate partnership. There is a lot of work being done to try and get their official details and formal release done, but I don’t expect it before the New Year.

Canadian Tire Motorsports Park confirmed they will be managing the Mosport Karting Centre in-house in 2020 and beyond, promising to continue to host club races, corporate events and arrive and drive racing. We are hearing that the management staff will be announced soon, most likely when the new MRFKC program is released.

There were hopes following the Goodwood announcement that the two parties would still try and come together on a single program in 2020, but as the days tick away, it’s tough to see it happening.

It’s too early for anyone to take sides and we hope that all of our racers keep an open mind when deciding where to race in 2020. It’s unfortunate that a strong such program as the MRFKC has been sliced up in a way, but it’s not the first time a program has been chopped up in Ontario and it won’t be the last.

It’s also a situation like this where an ASN would be very ideal. The decision of who manages and is the true leader of these programs needs some oversight, otherwise, anyone could start their own series, right?

Canadian Karting Championships

As for the 2020 Canadian Karting Championships, Goodwood Kartways announced in their release that they will host an event called the Kart Stars Canadian Karting Championships on the typical August weekend, but we’ve also heard that Mosport has assumed the rights to the event from ASN Canada. There is also the Canadian Open, which hasn’t announced their date yet

This isn’t a big issue as of today, but hopefully, it can be sorted out sooner rather than later. At this point, the Nationals can’t go away, but there needs to be something that brings it back to truly attracting drivers from coast to coast, even if there is a couple of thousand miles in between on regions.

My take, I think we need to have a couple of different events to showcase our programs. On the two-cycle side of things, Rok Cup and Rotax Max deserve to showcase their programs in standalone events, while a special Briggs 206 event would be very cool to have the calendar where all of our regions can be on board in some way, shape and/or form.

Originally Published 12/23/2019 : www.canadiankartingnews.com

An Open-Wheeler for Christmas

Santa Claus is a big open-wheel fan. Everybody knows that. Sprint cars, quarter midgets, even roadsters that ran Indianapolis back in the day. But to be fair to ol’ Saint Nick, asking for a full season in US F2000 isn’t a reasonable thing to put on the Christmas wish list. That’s over $15,000 per weekend.

That’s why I’m asking Santa for 12 laps in the F2000 cars at Toronto Motorsports Park at Cayuga. In 2020, the old Bridgestone Racing Academy cars are available for lapping on the road course next to Cayuga’s famous dragstrip.

For a couple of hundred bucks, you can strap yourself into on open wheeler for a dozen laps. Not a racing school, but certainly a one-day thrill ride!

I hope you’re listening, Santa.


The Race is ON!

OK, people. Today is December 23rd. The last full day of shopping before Christmas. If you’re planning on getting gifts from anywhere other than the local Petro-Canada gas station, get it in gear, drop the clutch, and GO!

Driving Down Dementia

~ by Daniel Demaras ~

Last week I was honored to have an article published by the Baycrest Foundation about my fundraising effort, my toughest challenge of 2019.

It was a busy racing season. I raced in multiple series; from club races in TRAK and MIKA, to bigger events like the Inter Club Challenge and Motomaster Ron Fellows Karting Championship all the way to the K1 Speed e-World Championships in California. But my greatest challenge was partnering with Racing to End Alzheimer’s to help raise awareness and funds for the Baycrest Foundation. My goal was to show that one person could make a difference.

It started at the IMSA race when I met up with my old karting coach James Vance, who co-pilots the No. 23 R2ENDALZ Audi. I joined the team, with a goal of raising $1,500 for Alzheimer’s research. A few weeks later, I held a fundraiser at Nostalgia Coffee Company in Toronto.

With the support of my personal sponsor, Nostalgia, I was halfway to my fundraising goal. But the second fundraiser would be a team effort. With prizes donated by Goodwood Kartways and Scarboro Subaru, the fundraiser at K1 Speed Toronto put us over the top.

My karting team, Professional Racing Ontario, helped support my endeavor by running special R2ENDALZ livery on all the karts in the final race of the season. Having my teammates behind me meant so much.

When the racing season ended, I visited the Baycrest Hospital to present them with a cheque for over $4,000; the total of all the donations I’d collected, plus the matching funds from R2ENDALZ’s corporate benefactors. Michelle, the Communications Advisor at Baycrest, showed me around the facility, and I was overwhelmed by the size and scope of the work they do. I never felt to small in my life.

Baycrest has a 100 year history in Toronto, and is a global leader in Alzheimer’s and brain research. Seeing the sheer size of the campus made my donation seem like a drop in the bucket. But it’s not just about money. My fundraiser helped get the message out to many in Toronto about the need to fund research.

I got to smile for the camera and get my picture taken with Craig Sharma, a Director at Baycrest and part of their Leadership Team, but the real credit goes to the individuals who donated to the fundraiser, and the businesses who supported the idea including R2ENDALZ, Nostalgia Coffee Company, K1 Speed, Scarboro Subaru, High Definition Installations and In Home Service.

I wanted to take the time to say thank you to everyone in the karting who helped and donated to the fundraisers this year. My goal was to show that one person could make a difference…but the lesson I learned is that by working together as a team, we can all achieve great things together.

Ken IceBlock

Enjoy watching Gennady Novichkov racing his CRG KZ-2 kart on a frozen river is Russia. Those people know how to have fun!

46-year-old Rookie

The news on RACER read “Multiple Le Mans 24 Hours class winner and ALMS/IMSA class champion Jan Magnussen will test an ORECA 07 Gibson in the FIA WEC Bahrain Rookie Test later this month.”

Jan is 46 years old. He raced in 25 Formula 1 grand prix starting in 1995, did 11 races in CART starting in 1999, raced at Le Mans 21 times and has a grown son, Kevin, at the Haas F1 Team. This guy is a rookie?

Magnussen hopes to return to Le Mans with an all-Danish driver line-up, rumored to include Michael Markussen. But Jan has made no secret of his hope to race alongside his son Kevin at the famed 24 hour event in the future.

Fast Is All in Your Mind

This story originally appeared in the November 2019 issue of Road & Track

~ by Ross Bentley ~

Watch video of Ayrton Senna or Gilles Villeneuve, and you have to wonder if there really is a limit to how fast a car can travel around a racetrack. Sure, the laws of physics apply, but how do you explain that Villeneuve was 11 seconds faster than the entire field, in the rain, during U.S. Grand Prix qualifying at Watkins Glen in 1979? Eleven seconds! Some of his competitors got out of their cars and walked to Turn 1 to watch him. They must have wondered when the laws of physics were going to kick in.

Senna’s 1993 drive in the European Grand Prix at Donington Park is another example. In the rain, on the first lap, he moved from fifth to the lead, making Michael Schumacher, Alain Prost, and Damon Hill look like rank novices. Prost was then a three-time Formula 1 world champion (he would land his fourth that year), Hill would clinch the series title in 1996, and Schumacher would go on to notch seven titles between 1994 and 2004. Senna simply drove around them. The rain is where we often notice the biggest differences between common driving performances and the extra-special ones. (The differences are there on sunny days, too, just harder to recognize.) Wet weather means reduced grip, and reduced grip requires more control and nuance, no matter the car. Rain has been called the great equalizer, though it’s really a differentiator. It separates drivers and influences their belief in themselves. When you watch a driver do something that seems impossible, it obviously wasn’t impossible. All else being equal, it simply happened because they knew they could make it happen.

Is there a limit to one’s beliefs? Physics says yes, of course, but driving at the limit happens in the mind before anything happens with the steering wheel and pedals. F1 is a prime example: The drivers there are some of the best in the world, but a rare few are consistently able to drive faster than their teammates in what is essentially the same car. And while there are other factors at work—how a driver works with their engineer to tune the car’s setup is critical, for example—they aren’t the differentiator.

Stanford psychology professor Dr. Carol Dweck defines two basic human mind-sets: fixed and growth. I was fortunate enough to contribute to some research Dweck did early on in this area, specifically with race drivers. Guess what? The best drivers have more of a growth mind-set than others. An attitude best described as “there’s always more.” Even at the top levels of the sport, some drivers curb themselves by believing they can’t go any quicker, while others continually look to improve.

In 1993, Nigel Mansell passed me on the outside of Turn 1 of Michigan International Speedway at something over 230 mph. If I could have moved my head against the 4 g’s in the cockpit of my Indy car, I would have given him a disbelieving, cartoonlike shake. Why did Mansell not realize that he was literally half a mile per hour away from careering into a concrete wall? I’m guessing the fact never crossed his mind. His growth mind-set was looking for more, and he believed he could find it.

Not that believing in limits is all bad. Acknowledging the edge of the possible is the only thing that stops us from trying every corner at full throttle in top gear. But ultimately, what separates the great drivers from the truly special ones is entirely in the head, regardless of reason. For Senna, it was a spiritual belief that he could do the near impossible; Villeneuve just didn’t seem to care. He either totally accepted that “it” would happen to him—that career-ending or life-ending crash—or the idea never crossed his mind.

Of course, Senna and Villeneuve each died at the wheel of a race car. The risk is always there, and you have to balance an acknowledgment of that with your deepest, most extraordinary inner confidence. Isn’t that what most attracts us to our sport in the first place – witnessing the extraordinary? The absolute best hit those heights often, leaving us marveling at the sight. And sitting there, wondering how it happened, as they disappear into the distance.

~ by Ross Bentley ~