TORONTO, Ontario, Sunday, July 8, 2012 – When the checkered flag dropped yesterday for the Toronto 100 on the streets of Exhibition Place, it was echoed in the grandstands as over 120 cheering fans in the grandstands rippled in unison, garbed in black and white t-shirts bearing the name “David Ostella” and primary sponsor LiUNA in support of their local hometown hero.
Under the watch of his devoted fan base, the 20-year-old Maple, Ontario resident captured another top-10 finish to take home seventh place in his No. 22 LiUNA/Global Precast Team Moore Racing entry in the 50-lap Firestone Indy Lights feature Saturday at the Honda Indy Toronto.
With the power of LiUNA’s Local 506 behind him, Ostella jumped off the grid to run as high as fourth place during the early portion of the race, but tire management and changing track conditions due to earlier inclement weather caused the car to change as the event progressed, ultimately dropping him three positions at the finish.
“Breaking into the top five at the start was awesome, but the car wasn’t all there,” said the young Canadian. “Team Moore Racing did a great job setting up the car, but the rear was stepping out on me as the race progressed. It became hard to keep it under control. I was struggling with my braking so it’s something for us to work on, especially for Edmonton with the big brake zones.”
Earlier in the morning for qualifications, the rain that made a timely appearance for the Sukup 100 at Iowa Speedway came back for an encore performance as torrential rain swept the 1.75 mile temporary street circuit, forcing teams to switch to rain tires and alter their qualifying strategy.
“We were expecting the rain,” said Ostella. “But in the middle of the session the track began to dry up a bit as the rain dropped off and we tried to bring our times down, and that’s when I showed my fastest times. Unfortunately, I was still trying to figure out the line and we ended up in seventh on the starting grid, but I can’t complain as it’s our sixth top-10 start for the season.”
And the large contingent of friends and family on hand to watch his performance today along with his new friends from LiUNA’s Ontario Provincial District Council (OPDC) fueled the young Canadian’s drive and provided the right support to put his future firmly on-track.
“I’m glad I had the support from my family, friends and especially my sponsors in the stands of my hometown,” he said. “It was phenomenal that they all came out to watch. I can’t thank them enough. I’m glad they could be here to see what I do, but it really shows what we can all do together.”
The next stop on the Firestone Indy Lights circuit remains north of the border as the series heads west for the Edmonton Indy, July 20-21. Practice begins on Friday, July 20 with two 45-minute sessions, followed by qualifications and the race on Saturday, July 21.