BALTIMORE, Sept. 2, 2012– When the Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT checkered flag dropped, David Ostella crossed the finish line fourth with his career best result on a road or street course. A resolved brake issue put Ostella at ease in the #22 Global Precast/LiUNA/Xtreme Coil Drilling car and allowed him to fight his way through the field.
“We’ve been struggling with a brake issue, and we’ve been constantly worrying about that,” said the 20-year-old from Maple, Ont. “This weekend, we decided to just let it go and switch to the same setup my teammate had and focus on that instead. We had to make sure we could get up front with a good time and that’s what we did.”
When practice in Baltimore was cut short Friday due to track alterations, Ostella and Team Moore Racing were distressed by the need to test the car’s adjusted brakes. They took advantage of their second opportunity to practice early Saturday morning, but more time was needed to completely understand how to handle the new chicane on the course.
As qualifications began, Team Moore continued to resolve prior issues while attempting to qualify. Though Ostella qualified 10th-fastest on the new and improved course, he arrived ready to compete on race day.
Ostella and teammate Gustavo Yacaman charged toward the front of the pack when the green flag dropped. Ostella set out to gain ground on his competitors as quickly as possible and race consistently for the remainder of the 35-lap race.
On the second lap, Ostella settled in at fifth place with Sam Schmidt Motorsports driver Oliver Webb trailing closely behind. Both drivers battled for several laps in a suspenseful tussle. With 14 laps to go, Ostella shrugged Webb off his tail and lunged toward a more confident lead.
An incident-free track locked the top-five in order for several laps until Carlos Munoz of Andretti Autosport experienced mechanical problems, tossing him out of contention late in the race. This left Ostella with the chance to claim fourth-place on lap 34, his fastest lap.
“I’m so proud of the team. They definitely deserve this one. They’ve worked so hard all year,” said Ostella. “I really need to thank my family and sponsors though. Without Global Precast, NTC, LiUNA, Imperial Precast, JND Erectors, Pro Green Demolishing, Connolly Marble and Granite and Masters Insurance, I wouldn’t even be here.”
“We’re finally getting a good result on a street circuit. We’ve done well on ovals, so I’m really looking forward to Fontana.”
With brake issues behind him, Ostella is confident for the Firestone Indy Lights season finale at the Autoclub Speedway on Sept. 15.
Stay updated on Ostella’s performance on track at @OstellaCorsa