Baltimore, Maryland, September 4, 2011 – A race day mechanical failure put an abrupt end to an already frustrating weekend for David Ostella in the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix. The rookie in the Firestone Indy Lights Series had improved to eighth position after starting tenth when a failure in the #16 Global Precast car’s steering mechanism brought his advance to a halt.
Ostella and his Jensen Motorsport team did not get off to the start they were looking for when brake issues arose in the first practice of the weekend. With the brakes taken care of, a poor handling racecar plagued Ostella throughout the remaining practice session and qualifying.
After starting tenth, Ostella got through the opening laps cleanly and picked up a pair of spots when both Peter Dempsey and Jorge Goncalvez spun on the challenging 12 turn, 2 mile street circuit.
20 laps into the 35 lap event, however, Ostella radioed to his crew and reported that his steering wheel had become stuck pointing left. The Maple, Ontario native’s steering only returned when he cranked the wheel sharply in the opposite direction. When the problem returned in subsequent laps, the Jensen crew called Ostella to the pits and determined the condition to be terminal. Ostella was credited with finishing fifteenth.
“It was a disappointing weekend for sure,” said Ostella. “We really wanted a good result in the last street course of the year since we’ve performed well on them all season long. Something in the steering failed today, probably because street courses are rough and hard on equipment. Its definitely frustrating, but it’s all a part of racing.”
Up next on the Firestone Indy Lights Series calendar is the Kentucky 100 from the Kentucky Motor Speedway on October 2nd, followed by the season finale in Las Vegas on October 16th.