Filling the empty space between an early August event at Road America and a late September triple-header, David Ostella and the rest of the Formula BMW Americas drivers headed to New Jersey Motorsports Park last week to help christen the new 2.5...
Filling the empty space between an early August event at Road America and a late September triple-header, David Ostella and the rest of the Formula BMW Americas drivers headed to New Jersey Motorsports Park last week to help christen the new 2.5 mile Thunderbolt Raceway. While Ontario students headed to the classroom, Ostella was continuing his education in the cockpit and scored a passing grade when he posted the third fastest time of the two-day test.
"I was really happy with the test results," he said upon his return to Canada, and the classroom. "I really focussed on getting clear laps and making them count. I didn't do my best with the new tires, but near the end of the test I figured some things out and am really looking forward to the races there at the end of the month."
Timing near the top of the charts on old tires as his EuroInternational team worked up to speed on day one, Ostella then turned his fastest lap of the test within four laps of a new tire run early on day two. He began pushing the envelope afterward and had a spin that damaged a skid plate and led to the pitlane. "The track is awesome but there is no grass or anything outside, just dirt and dust," he said of the 'Thunderbolt' layout, one of multiple tracks. "You really need to focus because if you go off - you're done! It will be hard at the race if someone goes off in front and brings dirt all over the track, but I believe they are going to change the kerbs and make them wider for the race. It's a great facility."
For now its back to St. Thomas of Villanova College and grade twelve for the aspiring racer and lessons in the classroom. The Thunderbolt race weekend will be run in support of the Loud Energy Drink 150 and produce races 13, 14 and 15 of the championship. It will be the second consecutive triple-header weekend as Ostella began the month of August racing three times at famed Road America. As has become a pattern for the rookie, he consistently improved through the weekend and scored his best result in the final start. Self critical as always, he summarized the event this week.
"I was having trouble through the corners at Road America which was killing my speed all the way down the straight," he said. "I just didn't figure it out all weekend. For race one I had a good start but was blocked - and then hit going through turn three. That was it for race one! In race two my start was horrible and I got stuck with no draft and couldn't catch anyone." The race one result was an eleventh with a best lap of 2:19.115 and despite not having a draft mate in the second start Ostella turned a 2:18.302 and improved to finish eighth. He then went one better in the final race, crossing seventh in what he clearly felt was the wildest ride of the weekend. "I had a great start and was in a battle with Pelletier and Goncalvez," he said of the Sunday run. "Pelletier pulled out to pass into turn five and I followed him but ended up hitting him in the braking zone! I came out ahead, Goncalvez got me back, and the three of us diced to the end." By the checker it was Goncalvez, Ostella, Pelletier in sixth, seventh and eighth with Ostella tucked under the rear wing of the group leader.
The Loud Energy Drink 150 will run September 27-28 at New Jersey Motorsports Park. David will once again be racing with support from Global Precast Motorsports, Alpinestars and RAW Integrated Ltd.