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April 16, 2013 News
Indy Lights: Di Leo to Make Debut on Streets of Long Beach
 

Canadian Matthew Di Leo is ready to make his Indy Lights debut on the streets of Long Beach (Photo: MDL Racing)
Canadian Matthew Di Leo is ready to make his Indy Lights debut on the streets of Long Beach
(Photo: MDL Racing)

Canadian up-and-comer Matthew Di Leo will take the next step of his motorsports career this coming weekend (April 20-21), when he contests Round Three of the Firestone Indy Lights series on the streets of Long Beach, Calif. The MDL Racing owner/driver will make his series debut at the renowned street circuit event ready to build on the success he has earned in the USF2000 Championship ranks.

Right from the first time Di Leo got behind the wheel of a race car, his dream was to race and win in the IndyCar Series. He will get one step closer to realizing that dream in a few short days, as the Canadian teenager will be part of the Indy Lights action during the famed Grand Prix of Long Beach. While Di Leo will be making his debut in the top rung of the Mazda Road to Indy program - which was created to advance drivers into the IndyCar Series - he is confident that he can make an immediate impression.

Piloting the MDL Racing entry that is sponsored by RES Precast Inc., the 17 year-old will have the benefit of working with the same crew that has led him to previous junior formula car success, as well as having recently completed a successful test in his new 420 horsepower racing steed.

"It actually was the most unreal ride of my life!" stated Di Leo with regards to his first Indy Lights test. "The car was so fast, and it handled great. I knew as soon as I finished my test day that I would be doing a race soon. I can't wait to be back in that car!"

If past performances are any indication, the Innisfil, Ont., native is poised to have a strong Indy Lights debut on the streets of Long Beach. Di Leo, who has competed as an owner/driver for the past two years, was a contender for top honors in the 2012 USF2000 Championship, ultimately finishing fourth in the title fight - tops among both the single-car and privateer contingents - with four trips to the podium. Add in the fact Di Leo also has a winning record in the highly-competitive Canadian F1600 ranks, and has earned trips to the post-race podium celebrations at similar demanding street circuits, the stage is set for noteworthy first Indy Lights run.

"I'm looking forward to being so close to IndyCar, so close to my ultimate goal," added Di Leo. "I feel like there is a lot of great competition in the series, like there has been in all the series on the Mazda Road to Indy program. My goals for the weekend at Long Beach is to get a top-three finish, and bring the car back in one piece."

Di Leo will first sample the street circuit in Long Beach, Calif., on Friday (April 19) via the first of two practice sessions. Day two in Southern California features a second Indy Lights practice run prior to the lone qualifying session just after the lunch break. The green flag for Round Three is slated to wave for MDL Racing's Di Leo and the rest of the field on Sunday (April 21) at 10:15 am local time. Live timing and scoring will be available at http://racecontrol.indycar.com
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