| Matthew Di Leo followed up a third place finish in his debut outing at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve with an interview with former F1 champion Emerson Fittipaldi|
(Photo: MDL Racing)
INNISFIL, ONT. (June 12, 2012) - On June 8th, Matthew Di Leo was privileged to race on Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, as part of the Canadian Grand Prix weekend festivities, seated in a F1600 entry.
This icon of a track is 4.36 km long and includes 13 corners.
“I’d never been on this track and was a little worried about going out green to qualify, as this series doesn’t give me the opportunity to practice.”
Di Leo took in the full 30-minute qualifying session and turned it into a strong fourth place position for Saturday’s first race.
When the 34 drivers took to the track and got a green on the first shot, Di Leo quickly moved up to third. Unfortunately, an incident at the start prompted a restart, but Di Leo grabbed the opportunity presented by the restart and took over first place. However, “heading into corner four I pushed too hard on cold tires and developed under steer on the exit and ended up in the wall,” said a disappointed Di Leo.
Thanks to the efforts of Engineer Peter Dragffy and mechanic Mo Larsen, who worked well into the morning, Di Leo’s car was back in fine form for Sunday’s race two.
Di Leo, in the No. 56 car, raced hard. Starting at the back of the pack, he made his way up to the lead pack of three, where he battled to remain among the leaders, finishing a very impressive third.
However, the day’s highlights were not done yet, as Di Leo enjoyed chatting with two-time Formula One World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi, after which Di Leo was interviewed by the former champion himself at a private venue.