Maia impresses with fourth place finish. (Oakland, CALIFORNIA) June 16 -- Round 4 of the Barber Dodge Pro Series at Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca saw Leonardo Maia claw his way from the back of the pack to finish fourth. Maia started the race in...
Maia impresses with fourth place finish.
(Oakland, CALIFORNIA) June 16 -- Round 4 of the Barber Dodge Pro Series at Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca saw Leonardo Maia claw his way from the back of the pack to finish fourth. Maia started the race in third and was involved in a first lap scuffle which dropped him all the way back to 17th. The Oakland, California native set the fastest lap of the race breaking the race lap record on his impressive drive back into the top five. Maia retains the points lead over Memo Rojas by 12 and Dan Dileo by 14 as the Barber Dodge Pro Series heads north to Portland International Raceway next weekend.
"Considering what happened on the first lap of the race, I am very happy with fourth," exclaimed Maia. "I was so far back that while we were behind the pace car, I could not even see the leaders. I knew I had a lot of work to do so I put my head down and drove as hard as I could. I didn't think that I would be able to get back to fourth. Sometimes, when you really focus, you can even surprise yourself."
Maia started the race from the inside of row two and got through the normally hectic turn two unscathed. Unfortunately, turn three proved to be the problem corner this year as he was punted from behind. The entire field streamed by as Maia quickly got going again. Fortunately, the full course yellow came out and he was able to catch back up to the field albeit in 17th place. When the green flag waved, Maia put his head down and began dicing his way back to the front. After just two laps, he had worked his way to up to 11th and showed no signs of slowing. On his impressive drive through the field, Maia faltered once trying to get around Texan Chris Baker. The two made contact and Maia lost some time and a few positions. With ten laps to go, Maia was fifth chasing down Louis Pelayo who was a distant nine seconds ahead. After catching and then passing Pelayo, Maia then set his sights on Monterrey, Mexico race winner David Martinez. Maia put his head down and tried to chase down the Mexican for the final podium spot. Unfortunately, time ran out and the race was checkered. Maia had closed the gap to just three seconds when the race ended, narrowly missing out on the final step of the podium.
"I wish I could have been up there with the leaders dicing for the win, but this result was as much as I could have hoped for. I still have the points lead and I'm looking forward to increasing it at Portland."
The half-way point of the Barber Dodge Pro Series will take place in Portland, Oregon next weekend. Maia finished seventh there last year despite suffering damage on the first lap of the race. He looks forward to getting back to the top step of the podium and increasing his championship lead at the famed track.