David Ostella had a very successful Star Mazda homecoming yesterday as his first Canadian start of 2010 turned into a storming drive to fifth by the final flag in Trois-RiviÃ¨res. Already two spots forward running through the middle stages of the...
David Ostella had a very successful Star Mazda homecoming yesterday as his first Canadian start of 2010 turned into a storming drive to fifth by the final flag in Trois-Rivières. Already two spots forward running through the middle stages of the race, the sophomore driver was among the fastest cars on the track when he passed from eighth to sixth in one lap, then took another spot on his way home. Canadian fans duly noted the charge, and Ostella was rightfully thrilled afterward.
"In morning warm-up we figured something out and it made the car so much better," Ostella said of his Sunday work. "So we just did a slight change for the race and it was right on. The car was awesome and the team did a great job this weekend. We finally had a weekend with no problems and to get a good result and be fast shows that we can run up front. Now we just need to keep it going in the races coming up."
Starting from P10 on the grid for a standing start Sunday after a minor brake issue in qualifying, Ostella wasted little time moving forward once the lights went out and was nearly eighth by the end of the first lap. Then, after waiting through a pair of caution periods in the first half of the 45- minute race, he emerged eighth and passed into sixth.
"The start was solid and I got the first spot," Ostella recalled. "Then there was contact that nearly caught me up and I dropped a spot, but I didn't want to throw the race away on the first lap and got past the damaged car there anyway. Through the middle of the race I stayed back a little since there were three cars involved with each other in front of me. But when they made errors I was able to get one going into turn six and then another with a sweet pass into turn one."
Ostella then closed the gap to fifth, and after setting the fastest lap on the track over lap thirty-four the pressure was on as he caught fifth. "I was definitely trying to pressure him and thought I could take the position," said the young Canadian. "He kept locking up in turn one and turn nine, and then on the exit of turn three he had a spin. I thought the car would go inside, but it went wide and I had to slow down and shoot to the inside for fifth. Then I just focussed on getting good clean laps with no mistakes, and on staying focussed until the checker."
Exactly that is what the eighteen-year-old did. Though the gap to fourth was over seven seconds, Ostella took two seconds out of it over the final four laps, closing the day with the fastest lap on track over the final tour, and setting the second-fastest lap of the race outright. Ostella will look to remain on form as he heads to Road America this coming weekend and Mosport to close the month where he will race in front of family, friends and sponsors from Global Precast Intercontinental, Alpinestars, Masters Insurance, Pro Green Demoliton and RAW Integrated Ltd.