Ostella recorded his best road course finish of the season in Chicago. Firmly hitting the mark he set for himself heading in, David Ostella followed his best oval finish of the season in Iowa with his best road- course finish of the season last...
Ostella recorded his best road course finish of the season in Chicago.
Firmly hitting the mark he set for himself heading in, David Ostella followed his best oval finish of the season in Iowa with his best road- course finish of the season last weekend in Chicago. Captivating trackside and television audiences with a stellar drive on Sunday, the seventeen-year- old Canadian finished eighth in the Star Mazda Championship Harrah's Grand Prix at Autobahn Chicago.
"Overall the weekend ended in a very positive way as the team and I pulled together to get a great result," Ostella said upon his return to Maple, Ontario. "Saturday we had some bad luck with parts breaking, but in the end we reached our goal in getting our best road-course finish of the season and it just keeps the momentum rolling heading home to Canada."
The trouble eluded to came Saturday, as after qualifying tenth Ostella was stranded at the standing start with a broken differential. "These things happen in racing and that's what makes it exciting," he said with a maturity that belies his experience. "It was just really unfortunate because I was pumped for the race and couldn't wait to get off the line. Right when it happened, the first thing I thought of was that it popped into a neutral position, but once I figured something broken I was more worried about getting hit from behind!"
He didn't, and better still, was back on track later in the day for Sunday qualifying. After setting his best time of the weekend Ostella lined up P13 for race nine the next day. "I was very happy with the start on Sunday," recalled the Star Mazda rookie. "Being aggressive at the start is something I have been working on and starting from row seven I wanted to move forward as quickly as possible." That he did. Taking his first spot off the line, Ostella went inside for eleventh at turn two and was into the top ten before the end of the opening lap. Two laps later he was into ninth, and closing on the tightest pack of cars on the track - positions five through eight.
"I put in a series of clean laps and was able to catch right on to Alex Ardoin," Ostella said. "But I was catching him in all the wrong spots and knew that once he made a mistake I needed to be there to capitalize." The opportunity came early in the second half of the race when Ostella got a run down the pit straight at Autobahn and went around the outside into turn one! Ostella had eighth position, but it would prove short lived as just one corner later he was forced to take evasive action when another car spun right in front of him.
"My only choice at that point was the outside," Ostella said of escaping being collected in the spin. "I couldn't get to the inside, and I knew I had lost the pass I just made. After that, it became a matter of staying focussed and doing it all over again. The tires then started to go away, and the four of us were just racing at a stalemate."The quartet took the checker in just over 1.5 seconds, Ostella having moved forward five positions and sitting eighth.
Despite the failure to start on Saturday, David remains twelfth in the Championship after his skilful drive on Sunday. He now begins to prepare for two rounds in Canada, racing once again with from Global Precast Intercontinental, Alpinestars and RAW Integrated Ltd.