Mid-Ohio: Daniel Di Leo race notes

A rain soaked day provides for a shortened race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. LEXINGTON, OH. (AUGUST 10, 2003) - Aspiring racer and Barber Dodge Pro Series (BDPS) star Daniel Di Leo (Select Auto Collision / Di Leo Auto Sports / Autosports...

A rain soaked day provides for a shortened race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

LEXINGTON, OH. (AUGUST 10, 2003) - Aspiring racer and Barber Dodge Pro Series (BDPS) star Daniel Di Leo (Select Auto Collision / Di Leo Auto Sports / Autosports Media) took a second place finish yesterday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, OH. The twenty-one-year old from Markham, Ontario resident was competing in the second last series race of the 2003 which saw the talented driver move solidly into P2 for the BDPS championship.

"Times are very close and track position will be key" stated Di Leo after qualifying third for Saturday afternoon's race. Di Leo was the victim of an ill-handling car that saw him make a last minute switch to the back-up car after the morning warm-up. Di Leo used the first few laps of the session to determine the characteristics of the new car before really trying to push for the pole position. "I feel that with the change of cars I am a session behind everyone" stated the Canadian driver. Di Leo also explained that it would be a very tough but exciting race as there are three drivers in the fight to garner as many points as possible and secure second position in the series standings.

As the green flag flew for the start of the event the rain was falling and every driver had to guess on the car set-up. Series officials knew that if the race went dry that they were going to be dealing with a tightly knit field that would provide for some very close racing and some brave overtaking maneuvers.

At the start of the timed event, Di Leo made a bold move on the outside of David Martinez for the second position. He then got into a rhythm and was running close behind and consistent lap times with the leader. A slight bobble on the third lap saw Martinez get a good run off of turn two and get back by Di Leo on the long run down the straightaway. The caution flag flew once again and after several yellow flag laps series officials decided that the race was going to be a timed event and would finish short of the original distance.

The race went green for the final time and Di Leo was getting hounded from behind by fellow Canadian Antoine Bessette. Daniel took the pressure very well and still remained focused on catching the race leaders. The caution flag flew again for a slower car that had spun off the track and was stranded in the gravel trap. That same lap, P2 David Martinez spun giving the second place position to Di Leo. "I thought to myself" said Di Leo, "Finally some luck that will go my way." Di Leo closed in on the rear of race leader Leonardo Maia during the caution only to be informed over the radio that the race would not go back green and would finish behind the pace car.

"I had a good car and a chance at the win if we went back green" explained Di Leo. "I am just happy I gained some points on David (Martinez) and Memo (Rojas) for second in the championship. It will allow me to sleep a little better heading to Montreal."

With the second place result, Di Leo gained some valuable points towards the second place position in the series point standings and will now put his full attention towards the August 24 weekend. The Molson Indy Montreal will be the final event on the calendar for the BDPS and the Trans-Canada Challenge for the 2003 season.

Daniel Di Leo's next on-track activity will be next weekend as during the Canadian Karting National Championships at Mosport Driver Development Circuit. Di Leo has hooked up with the championship contending First Kart North American team and will contest in the ultra competitive 125cc shifter class.

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About this article
Series Barber Pro
Drivers Leonardo Maia , David Martinez , Antoine Bessette