Top-Six for MDL Racing's Di Leo on Streets of Baltimore
 September 5, 2013| 
  • Team News

Indy Lights rookie showcased speed and racecraft in Round 10

INNISFIL, ONT. – MDL Racing continued its inaugural foray in Firestone Indy Lights competition over the weekend (August 31-September 1) with another strong effort in Round 10. Taking to the often treacherous street circuit in downtown Baltimore, owner/driver Matthew Di Leo further showcased his ever-growing talents with a top-six finish, laying the ground work for a successful end to the 2013 campaign.

With a proven track record around the 2-mile circuit that circles Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and Oriole Park at Camden Yards – two podium finishes in USF2000 Championship action – Di Leo and the entire MDL Racing squad were excited to get the action underway for Round 10 of the Indy Lights title fight.

As planned, the opening two practice runs were spent getting acclimated to the changing track conditions, as more and more rubber was laid down, as well as fine-tuning the No. 56 RES Precast Inc./Praga/Mi-Jack Cranes/MDL Racing to Di Leo’s driving characteristics in order to get the most from both the car and driver. The Canadian team and driver, having gathered a good deal of data, information, and track time in the two runs, were confident of further speed come qualifying.

The lone timed run to set the grid for the Sunday afternoon race proved to be a successful affair for the former Formula Ford race winner. Di Leo, aware that start positions can be a key ingredient to success on a street circuit, displayed his affinity for driving within the tight concrete confines, challenging for a place among the top-five, before ultimately earning a row four starting position via the seventh quickest lap.

One day later it was time to go racing in Maryland. Di Leo, having further debriefed with his talented crew, and gone over strategy for the 35-lap race, got away cleanly when the green flag waved. Mixing good pace and smart racecraft, the 18 year-old began working his way forward. Further showcasing the development of the rookie driver/team combo, Di Leo in the end exited with a mistake-free run and a hard fought sixth place finish, giving the Canadian up-and-comer another top-10 result on his rookie Indy Lights resume.

“The weekend went really well for MDL Racing,” commented Di Leo, who is the lone owner/driver in the Mazda Road to Indy program. “We had enough speed to fight for top-five the whole weekend. The race was long and bumpy, and in the end though we came home with a strong sixth. The goal is to keep getting better every time out.”

MDL Racing and Di Leo return to Firestone Indy Lights action on October 5-6, when the penultimate race on the series calendar takes place on the streets of Houston, Texas. Prior to Round 11, Di Leo will travel to Spain this coming weekend (September 7-8) to contest a 24-Hour endurance race at the Circuit de Catalunya behind the wheel of Lotus Evora GT4.

About Matthew Di Leo: A native of Innisfil, Ont., Di Leo began his journey towards a career in motorsports at the age of nine, first getting behind the wheel of a kart. Showing natural talent right from the get go, Di Leo steadily worked his way up the ranks, continually developing his skills. In 2011, the Canadian made his car racing debut. Racing in the Ontario Formula Ford Championship, he won once and stood on the podium in both races he contested. Piloting an F2000 entry as well, Di Leo finished third the USF2000 Winterfest series with two podiums, and was fifth in the USF2000 Championship with one trip to the post-race podium. Last year, Di Leo again got in the cockpit of F1600 and F2000 cars. He scored one win, added another podium finish, and captured two pole positions in the Quebec-based Formula Tour 1600. Racing as an owner/driver under the MDL Racing banner, Di Leo finished fourth in the USF2000 Championship, capturing four podium finishes.

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