Sebring: David Ostella preview

David Ostella has arrived in Florida where this week he begins his second season in the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear. Track action begins Tuesday, and kicks off over two weeks of race activity where the eighteen-year-old from...

David Ostella has arrived in Florida where this week he begins his second season in the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear. Track action begins Tuesday, and kicks off over two weeks of race activity where the eighteen-year-old from Maple, Ontario, Canada, will race back-to-back at Sebring International Raceway and through the streets of St. Petersburgh. The pair of events initiate the 20th Anniversary Season of the Star Mazda Championship, one in which Ostella is entering in a very positive frame of mind.

"We had a great private test and established a strong starting setup working through what works and what doesn't," Ostella said prior to departing from Pearson International Airport. "I'm pretty confident we will have a good week and a great run on Friday. We'll take Tuesday and Wednesday as test days and try even more changes, then look to qualify well and have a strong, consistent race. Getting good results and scoring points is the goal to make sure I'm a championship contender this year, and I really want to make sure I get through these first two rounds with no problems and set the tone for the season ahead."

Beginning the campaign with solid footing has almost become the prime objective for Ostella, as last year at Sebring he endured a very trying week with his AIM Autosport team, and was playing catch-up from Monday onward. They were only able to fully participate in one of six sessions prior to qualifying, and the lack of time led to a qualifying position of fifteenth. Still, when the green flag waved, Ostella's racing instincts took over. He gained five positions over the first racing lap, another on lap two, and through three laps was racing inside the top five. It was a sensational opening series, yet misfortune struck once again.

"I had an amazing standing start and was doing great," Ostella recalled at the time. "I was up to fifth with my engineer Keith Willis on the radio helping me out, then on lap seven the front sway bar broke and it led to a spin in turn 17. The vacuum hose came off, and from that point forward I just had no power. I just cruised around to the finish. We were dealt a difficult hand, yet with little amount of time on the track we were up in the front of the field."

Things improved at the second round where Ostella finished ninth, but it would be his only top-ten finish in what became a difficult first half of the season. The second half of his rookie campaign was much improved, as Ostella gained experience both with his AIM Autosport team and Star Mazda race car. He was on the podium in third at Iowa Speedway and followed with three more top-ten drives on his way to 294 points and P13 in the Championship. For 2010, the target has been set much, much higher.

After two Promoter test sessions on Tuesday, David and the Star Mazda drivers will run two Official Practice sessions on Wednesday before Qualifying on Thursday morning. Race one of thirteen will run from 12:45 to 1:30 on Friday. Teams will then head the short distance to St. Petersburgh for a more standard race weekend from Friday through Sunday.

David will race both events with support from lifelong sponsor Global Precast Intercontinental, and is pleased to continue his racing relationship this season with both Alpinestars and RAW Integrated Ltd. For more information on the championship, visit starmazda.com. For more information on David Ostella and his team, visit davidostella.com and aimautosport.com.

-source: davidostella.com

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Series Pro Mazda
Drivers David Ostella