Just one week after opening the 2010 Star Mazda Championship at Sebring, David Ostella was back in action a week ago, this time in the close confines of the St. Petersburg Grand Prix street circuit. The eighteen-year- old sophomore produced a...
Just one week after opening the 2010 Star Mazda Championship at Sebring, David Ostella was back in action a week ago, this time in the close confines of the St. Petersburg Grand Prix street circuit. The eighteen-year- old sophomore produced a strong run at round two, dealing well with unexpected problems and bringing his Global Precast/Aim Autosport Mazda home in seventh.
"The start wasn't the greatest for me as I had too much wheel spin, but it was still good," Ostella said of getting things underway on the streets of St. Pete and jumping one spot to sixth. "Then I was kind of expecting an early yellow since it was a street course with no run-off, but I still went as if I wasn't. I drove hard every time we had a green run, and didn't allow myself to be frustrated when yellows came out. I was running a good race and was really focussed on doing well."
The focus paid off, as after retaking the green flag for a second time on lap nine, Ostella passed into fifth position. He raced there into the second half of a 45 minute race until he unexpectedly began losing ground to the cars in front and had his mirrors full of cars hounding from behind.
"Getting ready for the second restart I just wanted to stay right on him and when we went green I saw the opportunity to pass and took it," Ostella said of the move to fifth. "Then the gear shifter broke in the second half of the run and it was causing me problems on my down-shifts and up-shifts. It would get stuck, and not go back into a neutral position so I was losing time, especially late in the race. Still, it was a good run and we were in the top five where we should be before the problem and we're off with an okay start."
The start the second-year driver is referring to is a two-race total, as after much bigger problems and P13 at Sebring, the seventh from St. Petersburg awarded 29 points and moved him into ninth in the series' championship through two of thirteen rounds. Despite being in just his third season of formula car racing, the young Canadian from Maple, Ontario, has demonstrated maturity beyond his years both overall and in how he worked through his St. Petersburg weekend beginning with Friday practice.
After coming out of the box off the pace, Ostella and his team found over two seconds from the first to second session, and went quicker still in qualifying, despite missing out on what would have been his best lap of the session. "Early on I realized I was being a little too aggressive and needed to settle in, so I gave myself a gap to get some clear track, and once I gave myself room there were no problems," Ostella said of qualifying. "It was a great session once I got on top of things and got down to business. I think my final lap would have been even quicker, but then I came to the wreck and yellows, and that was it."
As it was, Ostella had moved from tenth, to ninth, to seventh on consecutive laps and was looking to match his top-five effort from Sebring when he was thwarted. He then got to sixth from the standing start and the race was underway. Ostella and the rest of the Star Mazda drivers now have some time off from racing, as the Series resumes May 22nd at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, once again united with the American LeMans Series. Some testing may come prior, and as always David's racing activities will be generously supported by Global Precast Intercontinental, Alpinestars, and RAW Integrated Ltd.