The Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear raced its third round last weekend as the Larry H Miller Utah Grand Prix had David Ostella and the Star Mazda competitors in Tooele, Utah, supporting the American Le Mans Series. In his first visit...
The Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear raced its third round last weekend as the Larry H Miller Utah Grand Prix had David Ostella and the Star Mazda competitors in Tooele, Utah, supporting the American Le Mans Series. In his first visit to Miller Motorsports Park, Ostella was working to come to grips with the track over three days and was rounding into form for Saturday's third round of the championship.
"I was getting to know the track better and better every time I went out," Ostella said in his recap of the weekend. "The team and I were also getting the setup figured out. It looks like an easy layout, but when it comes down to it Miller is a pretty technical track."
After beginning the Promoter Test Session on Thursday by turning his first laps, Ostella took well over a second off his best time in the second session, and repeated the feat in the first Official practice on Friday morning when he began honing in on the top ten in a field of thirty-three. He shaved off more time in final practice, and though he went quicker for the fourth consecutive session during Saturday morning qualifying, the Canadian teenager was less than thrilled with his effort.
"I don't think my qualifying session went as planned," he said of his run to P15 at 1:45.427 seconds. "I got frustrated out there and lost time when I just needed to focus. When I finally did, it was too late and I had used up the best of my tires."
Things failed to improve in the race later in the day, one that was quickly turned on its ear for the series rookie. "My start was very good and I got a few positions," Ostella continued. "Then after the first lap I was going around turn five when I was passed and pushed off. Going into six I was then right on the inside, on the dirty part of the track, and locked up the front. Someone hit my back tire, and I ended up going up and over them, spinning and damaging the suspension. I went to the back of the field, and thankfully a full course caution came out."
Following the caution period Ostella began a charge back through the field with AIM Autosport teammate Jorge Goncalvez who was also involved in early race contact. The pair had worked back past the mid-point in the field when prior damage led to a second spin for Ostella, dropping him to his final classification of P18.
"Overall it was a bad weekend," Ostella concluded, but his sights quickly turned to upcoming events on the schedule. "I just could not get my driving to work here, but in the end going from the back and ending up 18th counts for something. It was a good experience. Now it's off to oval testing! I have never been on an oval before so I can't wait until I get on track for the first time. I've been looking forward to this for a while and can't wait!"
The Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear resumes race action June 13-14 with a doubleheader race weekend at New Jersey Motorsports Park.