After a disappointing opening to the 2009 Star Mazda Championship at Sebring, David Ostella had a much better time at round two and produced his first top-ten finish of the season during the Bosch Engineering 250 at Virginia International Raceway...
After a disappointing opening to the 2009 Star Mazda Championship at Sebring, David Ostella had a much better time at round two and produced his first top-ten finish of the season during the Bosch Engineering 250 at Virginia International Raceway a week ago. Consistently finding time from the first official session on Friday, Ostella worked his way among the fastest in the field by race morning.
"Through practice and qualifying we were still setting up the car and figuring out what would work for the track," the Canadian teenager said of the AIM Autosport approach to the weekend. "We finally got it on Sunday morning warm-up and at that point I just couldn't wait for the race!"
What they had was a 1.46.622 second lap which was fourth quickest in the field of 28 cars and a great final step heading into the second race of the championship. After beginning Thursday with a 1:48.8 and P13, Ostella never took a backward step through practice, qualifying, or race day warm-up. He went seven-tenths quicker in practice two for P11, chopped more than a second off his best lap to qualify P10 on Saturday, and with another four- tenths Sunday morning was right where he wanted to be. Sadly for him and the Star Mazda field, the progress would pretty much grind to a halt Sunday afternoon.
"I was so pumped for the race after posting P4 on the result sheet but to be honest it was a pretty boring race," he said of the caution filled event. "It was full of full-course cautions and we only had a handful of green laps. I was always in traffic and never reached the optimal tire temperature to see what I could really do.
"I had a bad start but held my position and was at pace with the field through the first couple of laps before a caution came out. On the first restart I was caught out by everyone checking up and ended up taking to the grass to avoid someone in front. I dropped back to 15th, but worse I bent something on the car and it was harder to driver afterward. In the green running we had, I managed to work my way back up to finish 9th and was staying right with the people in front so I was happy about that. Once again I'm left thinking I could have been in a higher position, but overall the weekend was great and I am now tenth in the championship and still making progress."
The Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear resumes May 14 at the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix. Star Mazda will run in support of the American Le Mans Series at Miller Motorsport Park in Tooele, Utah.