Di Leo Battles With Power Issues and Still Podiums "Four Podiums in 2004" July 18, 2004 -- Toronto, ON -- 22-year-old Daniel Di Leo (Star Race Cars / Select Auto Collision / WTF Solutions / Autosports Media) scored his fourth podium finish in...
Di Leo Battles With Power Issues and Still Podiums
"Four Podiums in 2004"
July 18, 2004 -- Toronto, ON -- 22-year-old Daniel Di Leo (Star Race Cars / Select Auto Collision / WTF Solutions / Autosports Media) scored his fourth podium finish in as many races in the Star Mazda Series presented by Goodyear at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA. After proving to be very fast during Thursday's test sessions, Di Leo suffered engine problems that forced his Star Race Cars Team to make an engine change before qualifying.
Di Leo pushed hard in the Saturday morning qualifying session but still came up short only turning the 7th quickest time. Still down on power, the team once again went to work and replaced many parts in the Pro Mazda to try and solve the problem. A bad electrical control unit seemed to be the cause as Di Leo headed towards the front early in the event.
When the green flag flew for the Saturday afternoon race, Di Leo knew that he had his work cut out for him and was determined to battle for the win. "We finally believe that we have the problem solved," stated an upbeat Di Leo before the start of the event. "It is going to be tough but I think we can garner another podium this weekend."
The Markham, ON resident played it safe and conservative on the start to ensure no contact was made with his fellow competitors. Making some bold moves in and around the demanding road course, Di Leo progressively moved forward throughout the event challenging the lead cars in the final stages. With the overall series championship as the ultimate goal, Di Leo crossed the line in the third position as the top three in the championship swept the podium positions.
"We had a good race today. I think we fell behind with our engine problems and the changes we had to make, but I will take this result. It is so tough to pass here with such a demanding compromise of aero balance and mechanical grip. The cars in front of me weren't faster by any means, but were quick where they needed to be." Hoping for a better result at the next event, Di Leo also went on to thank his Star Race Cars Team.
Di Leo continues to lead the series championship points battle as the season shifts into high gear. Losing a few points this weekend was not a major loss for the Canadian as he leads his nearest competitor by 18 markers and will look to increase his lead next week in Portland.
For series information, race results, up-to-date points and press releases, please visit the Star Mazda Series website at www.starmazda.com. For information on Daniel Di Leo and the Di Leo Auto Sports Racing Team please visit his website at www.danieldileo.com.