David Ostella is through the first pair in a string of five August starts as the Star Mazda Championship raced a doubleheader at the Harrah's Autobahn Grand Prix presented by Mazda over the weekend. Keeping with an irritating trend that the season...
David Ostella is through the first pair in a string of five August starts as the Star Mazda Championship raced a doubleheader at the Harrah's Autobahn Grand Prix presented by Mazda over the weekend. Keeping with an irritating trend that the season has brought for the sophomore driver thus far, the Canadian teen experienced both a high and a low through races eight and nine.
"Saturday went really well, it was a good race," Ostella said of the first start of the weekend that saw him record his best finish of the year in fourth. "I was driving well, and it was a lot of overdue luck for me, too. I got a really good start from ninth and was able to split right between the row in front and get both of them before turn one. Then another car spun on the exit of turn fifteen and I got him too. It was a good start to the day."
Following that was a yo-yo affair for Ostella. He inherited fifth when Tristan Vautier retired, fell to seventh when Caio Lara and Conor Daly got past working from the back, moved back to sixth when Joao Horto received a blocking penalty, and was back to fifth when Jorge Goncalvez retired with a gear box issue! Another restart followed, and after dropping a spot Ostella then collected two when contact in front hampered a pair of cars, leading to his final classification of fourth.
The 34 points moved Ostella back into the top ten in championship classification, and although he set the fourth-fastest lap in the field at 2:15.151 seconds, he was still looking for more heading to Sunday. "We still don't have the right setup," he said from paddock Saturday night. "I was driving well but could still be better, and we hope to improve for the next race tomorrow."
Qualifying was definitely not an improvement, as a strange effort left Ostella mired in the position of his car number - P16, but a blinding start followed, and he was immediately back into the top ten before the first lap was out. "It was an awesome start," Ostella said of the Sunday getaway and opening corners. "I had a good run, then passed one car on the outside of one and another on the outside of two. Other cars went off, and I was up to tenth quickly!"
He was then set to move to ninth when another driver served a jump-start penalty, but as has happened all too often this year, factors beyond his control intervened when the bracket for the shift cable broke and his car became stuck in fifth gear working lap three. Ostella pressed on hoping for a reprieve, but it was not to be and he retired.
Despite the Sunday failure, he remains tied for tenth in the Championship headed to his first start of the season in Canada - the Grand Prix of Trois- Rivières August 13-15. As always, David is able to compete thanks to generous support from Global Precast Intercontinental, Alpinestars, Masters Insurance, Pro Green Demoliton and RAW Integrated Ltd.