"Daniel Di Leo shows strength in hometown event" TORONTO, ONTARIO -- Canadian motorsports standout Daniel Di Leo (Select Auto Collision / Di Leo Autosports Racing Team) had the perfect weekend all planned out. A race in his hometown, the lead of...
"Daniel Di Leo shows strength in hometown event"
TORONTO, ONTARIO -- Canadian motorsports standout Daniel Di Leo (Select Auto Collision / Di Leo Autosports Racing Team) had the perfect weekend all planned out. A race in his hometown, the lead of the event by the end of lap 2 and several family, friends and potential sponsors in attendance. Everything was looking good as Di Leo calmed his nerves and gave the Canadian fans something to cheer about.
After qualifying 3rd by 0.019 seconds, Di Leo found himself starting behind series point leader and good friend Leonardo Maia and Friday's provisional pole sitter David Martinez. "I had a strong car but unfortunately Leo beat me by a fraction of a second and David starts ahead of me courtesy of yesterday's session." Di Leo knew the job that had to be done. He was forced to be brave and try to get by Martinez as quickly as possible. "I had to keep in contact with Leo to have any chance at the win" stated Di Leo.
After completing several autograph sessions and promotional gatherings throughout the weekend, the 21-year-old was ready for racing. "I knew the start was going to be a little hectic" explained Di Leo, "I just had to try and get through the first three corners with my nose clean" Di Leo got a good run on the start and managed to stay on the gearbox of Leo. "I was able to get on the inside of David entering turn 1 and knew I had the preferred line through turn 2 and down the straight into 3." Daniel cleared the car of Martinez and instantly went on the attack of Leo by looking inside several times through the opening lap. Di Leo knew that he wasn't close enough to complete the moves and wisely pulled back in line. By utilizing the draft for the remainder of the lap, Di Leo was able to get a good run through the first couple of corners and squeeze by entering turn 3. Di Leo put his head down and quickly went on the attack of stretching his lead. "I got into a groove and was turning some consistent laps. I was trying to pull away to make the end of the race as easy as possible."
A mid race caution for a crash in the back portion of the track saw the field close tight for the re-start. Unfortunately, when the green flag flew Di Leo was unable to get the jump he needed and Martinez was able to make the pass through turn 3. "It was a bold move and we made slight contact" stated Di Leo. The next 2 laps saw Di Leo drive cautiously as he checked to make sure his car was in proper racing order. At the same time, series point leader Maia spun and tapped the wall and was running in 12th position. A podium finish by Di Leo would have seen the point lead chopped in half but it was not to be on this day.
Di Leo was pushing hard with the lead trio and came off turn 11 onto the front straight and brushed the wall. As innocent as it looked on camera, the rear suspension was severely damaged and Di Leo was forced to retire from the event two laps later. "It is such a disappointment to not finish your home event. I made one mistake and it cost me the race." By being scored 13th in the events final standings, Di Leo managed to pick up 3 valuable points towards the end of the year championship. "As any professional race car driver, I have to put this result behind me and begin to focus on the Vancouver event." Di Leo is referring to round 8 in the Barber Dodge Pro Series (BDPS) that will take place July 25-27 in Vancouver, BC. Canada.
Di Leo would also like to say a special thank-you to all his supporters throughout the Toronto event. "I have a great group of people that believe in me and the media coverage for this event had been tremendous." Di Leo participated in several autograph session's, T.V. shoots and was on the cover and featured in the main story of FormulaCar Magazine.