LONG BEACH, Calif.– If David Ostella were a gambling man, he might just bet it all on the number nine following the checkered flag of today’s Firestone Indy Lights race on the historic and winding streets of Long Beach.
Ostella ran a supremely consistent race today, starting and finishing in his magic number nine spot despite a steep set-up learning curve with the No. 22 Global Precast-Xtreme Coil Drilling car. However, a late time penalty issued to teammate Gustavo Yacaman following the checkered flag bumped the 20-year-old Maple Ontario resident up to an official 8th place finishing position on the final sanctioned race report.
The 45-lap race was fast paced, with only one full-course yellow early on Lap 21 to mar an otherwise uneventful day.
But the weekend began far less efficiently, as rain swept through the circuit and washed out the majority of the first practice session on Friday, putting teams and drivers behind as they tried to download the right balance of car set-up and tire management.
The Team Moore Racing crew was able to find a good balance and rebound as they took the green flag this morning, but as the battle progressed, Ostella was challenged as the set-up changed along with the terrain.
“It was a tough race and really hard work,” he said. “In the beginning the car felt really good, but as we kept turning laps, it just started to fall away on me, and the understeer just started to kick in. But in the end, I was able to have a great battle on the last few laps with Jorge (Goncalvez), and that makes it all worthwhile.”
Sam Schmidt Motorsports pilot Esteban Guerrieri stole the lead from pole-sitter Sebastian Saavedra of Team AFS on lap one and dominated every lap to take the win today under perfectly sunny skies and growing crowds.
The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Firestone Indy Lights race will be aired in its entirety on NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus) on Thursday, April 19 at 5 p.m.
The next event on the calendar is the Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 25 at 12:30 pm (ET).