David Ostella wrapped up his maiden Star Mazda Championship recently as the series presented by Goodyear raced its finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The young Canadian also celebrated his 18th birthday at the event, one which got off to a great...
David Ostella wrapped up his maiden Star Mazda Championship recently as the series presented by Goodyear raced its finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The young Canadian also celebrated his 18th birthday at the event, one which got off to a great start as Ostella posted his best road qualifying position of the season.
"I really like Laguna and believed I could perform well heading in," he said of the Saturday morning session that followed two days of practice. "I just pulled myself together and made sure I had everything set for a good lap. It was great!"
The series rookie qualified sixth, and gained another spot after launching from the standing start on Saturday afternoon. "It was good and I gained a spot in the run to turn one," he said. "I wanted to make the most of a good qualifying session, and I was pretty fast." Battles within the top ten then followed in the 45 minute affair, but things came to an abrupt halt six laps from the checker when Ostella looked set for his best road course finish of the season.
"My teammate was passing me into turn three," Ostella said of the incident that ended his season. "I gave him lots of room, but he locked up and slid into me. The contact knocked me into the sand trap and I was beached."
Despite the sandy end to a season which spanned the range of racing possibilities, Ostella was pleased with with his year in Mazda. "There were a lot of ups and downs during the season, but overall it was very good," he said. "I learned a lot, and I'd have to say the highpoint actually came in the first race of the season. I went from 13th to 5th in two laps, and had a great battle with Conor Daly." Yet Sebring would also prove a precursor to a season fraught with retirements when a broken sway bar led to his day ending early.
Looking back on the campaign, Ostella had three races end due to mechanicals, three end with crashes - a meeting with the wall in Milwaukee admittedly his own doing - and one race wasted with a misguided drive-thru penalty. In every race where he took the checker on form, the rookie finished inside the top ten with his best being third at Iowa Speedway racing at night on the oval. It led to P13 in the championship. For now Ostella returns his efforts to completing high school and training for the season ahead.