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December 18, 2014 News
EFCN INSIDER: MDL Racing Focused on USF2000 Program

Mazda Road to Indy veteran Matthew Di Leo will focus on running his own USF2000 team in 2015, and he is prepared to run two drivers for the season under his MDL Racing banner (Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography)
Mazda Road to Indy veteran Matthew Di Leo will focus on running his own USF2000 team in 2015, and he is prepared to run two drivers for the season under his MDL Racing banner
(Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography)

It’s an exciting time for the Mazda Road to Indy, as interest is high at all levels of the program. The launch and subsequent arrival of the new Dallara IL-15 Indy Lights chassis has the motorsports world buzzing, and new driver announcements are starting to make their way to the public ahead of the first official test in January. The USF2000 program provides the initial steps into the MRTI ladder system and the entry of new young competitors is always exciting, as is the announcement of new teams. MDL Racing isn’t new to the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, as the family-run operation campaigned owner-driver Matthew Di Leo to a fourth in the overall USF2000 point standings back in 2012. Di Leo made the jump to Indy Lights in 2013 and competed in a total of six races running the ‘old’ series car, including a single start in 2014, finishing sixth in Toronto. For 2015, Di Leo will return to the foundation of the MRTI program ,as MDL Racing is equipped to run drivers who wish to begin their own careers in the sport. EFCN caught up with Di Leo to learn more about his new focus.

eFormulaCarNews.com: Matthew, thanks for taking the time to chat with us ahead of the 2015 season. After a couple years running your own limited Indy Lights program, many of us in the motorsports media were waiting to hear news that you were planning to purchase one of the new Dallara IL-15s to continue your career. Instead, the first thing we read was a tweet that stated that you were re-focused on your USF2000 program and had a couple seats available. Is it indeed the case that you’re back to your beginnings with an official program for the USF2000 Championship? Will you be driving as well, or running the team?

Matthew DiLeo: Hey Rob! I’ve always been a big fan of the USF2000 program since I started there back in 2011. Our single car team did very well those two years of running. I would love to have the new Indy Lights car in the shop, but we all know what it takes to have a beautiful piece of machinery like that. I want to run the USF2000 this year and in years to come, so right now, MDL Racing is looking for drivers who would be interested. To have me racing again would be amazing, but for now I want to focus on being a team owner and recruiting drivers so that we can contend for the USF2000 championship.

EFCN: You and your team were very impressive as a privateer effort in 2011 and 2012, so tell us about the program you have set up for the 2015 season. Who do you have on your engineering staff and what about the equipment…give us a detail of your set-up?

MDL: The setup of MDL Racing is fully equipped to run two USF2000’s comfortably. We have a large hospitality area, an office for debriefing and a huge tent space for the racecar. MDL Racing’s staff members have 60 plus years of racing experience, collectively. Peter Dragffy is our engineer and Mo Larsen is the Chief Mechanic. Two other staff members are pending, depending on where we go. Plus, I would be there to run the team and coach of drivers.

EFCN: As I’ve stated many times, the teams are crucial to the success of any program and they provide the foundation for competition, so it’s great to have you joining the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda. What’s the best way for drivers and their families to contact you to inquire about your program and your open seats?

MD: The best way for people to reach me and MDL Racing would be to give me a call at 705-331-9707 or email me matthew@matthewdileo.com
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