LEEDS, Ala., Sunday, April 1, 2012 – Much like his favorite idol and singer Frank Sinatra once crooned—luck was indeed a lady for young Canadian David Ostella in today’s 40-lap Firestone Indy Lights race at Barber Motorsports Park for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.
The 20-year-old from Maple, Ontario, kept his head clear and his pace consistent to finish ninth in his No. 22 TMR/Global Precast/Extreme Coil Drilling car. Ostella capitalized on a late caution period, clean driving and a little luck to advance the five positions from his 14th-starting position.
The first full-course yellow on lap 34 was the first lucky break as the No. 28 car of Troy Castaneda made contact with the barrier in turn 6, which allowed Ostella to snake by and move into 11th position. Just a few laps later, luck once again was on Ostella’s side as a spin on lap 38 by the No. 26 car of Carlos Munoz caused a final yellow flag, but not before Ostella managed to pick off two more spots to move into his 9th place finish.
“Well it was a pretty good race there in the end,” said Ostella. “Off the start I was a bit slow as the tires were taking some time to really come in, and everyone was pulling away from me at the beginning. So I ran fairly conservatively and consistently to preserve my Firestone’s and it worked! Everyone just started dropping back and coming to me, then I caught a lucky break as the first yellow really helped to bunch us all back up and then it just kept going as a few cars went off and a few really slowed up to give me a few more spots. So today we were happy to take what the race could give us and we picked up some good points.”
With over half the race running nearly incident free, the No. 2 car of teammate Gustavo Yacaman maintained a consistent tire management strategy as well and ultimately improved three positions to finish 4th overall.
A crucial component of race strategy today, tire management was first and foremost on team owner Mark Moore’s mind. “Going into the race, we were really focused on tire wear and worked hard to ensure our cars were engineered to ensure longer wear on the tires that we were running” he said. “And both drivers proved that we had done our job. David (Ostella) had a lot of work to do today and I am very proud of him as he was running everyone down pretty good there at the end. The last yellow didn’t help us much as I really think he had the ability to collect a few more spots, but in all, he came through very well for us and we are proud of him.”
Ostella qualified yesterday with a final time of 1:18.7993 and started today’s race in row 7.
The next Firestone Indy Lights race will take place on Sunday, April 15 starting at 10:45 a.m. local time as part of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend. All on-track activity can be heard via the IMS Radio Network at www.indycar.com. A full-race broadcast will air on the NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus) on Thursday, April 19 at 5 p.m. ET.