Problems Continue for Ostella in Iowa The fifth round of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear proved a nightmare for David Ostella and AIM Autsport over the weekend as problems continued to hound the eighteen-year-old at the Pizza...
Problems Continue for Ostella in Iowa
The fifth round of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear proved a nightmare for David Ostella and AIM Autsport over the weekend as problems continued to hound the eighteen-year-old at the Pizza Ranch 100 at Iowa Speedway. They began with the first session of the weekend and ended in the pitlane after just 64 laps on Saturday night.
"It was a horrible weekend where things went wrong one after another," Ostella said in summing up his return to Iowa. "It began with first practice when the motor wasn't running properly, and I really missed the first and second session before I got out in the last one with the motor running, but still down on power. From there things just got worse."
True indeed, as after posting P9 in final practice and nearly matching the time to qualify tenth Saturday afternoon, Ostella was hopeful for the race - but not for long. "The car had a massive vibration in the front and I knew it was coming from the right front tire," he said afterward. "It happened on lap five or six, and just got worse every lap. It also caused me to have a massive understeer and I had to pit."
A blistering Goodyear was the problem, one that struck many of the drivers in the field after Ostella, and it just led to more problems for the sophomore driver. Low on patience after losing laps in park, he then picked up a pitlane speeding violation and had to serve a drive-thru penalty. When all was said and done, he resumed at the tail of the field, five laps down on the leader and directly behind him on the track. Yet from there came a hint of what could have been.
"Once I got going with the new tire the car felt way better and went from having massive understeer to a little bit of oversteer," Ostella recalled. "And it was fast! I was only a tenth or two off the leader's pace, and was able to follow him around going to the middle of the race. Things felt really, really good, and I definitely felt like I could salvage some points in the second half."
Working toward that end, Ostella took a few positions on track, inherited a few others when tire dramas continued in the field, and he was P12 when eleven laps of caution followed a car hitting the wall. The Global Precast driver then inherited eleventh under yellow, but his dream drive was about to come to an end.
"After the caution the car just flipped back to massive understeer, just like it was when the tire was getting torn apart," he said. "I tried to hold on as much as I could, but it just wouldn't turn and it sent me straight up into the wall in turn four. It was just a horrible weekend, but at New Jersey last year I was pretty quick, so a double-header this weekend is just what I need!"
Already looking ahead, Ostella and the Star Mazda Championship head to New Jersey Motorsports Park this weekend for the first of two consecutive double-header events. Ostella will race in the Mazda Motorsports Festival once again with support from Global Precast Intercontinental, Alpinestars, Masters Insurance, Pro Green Demolition and RAW Integrated Ltd.