MAPLE, Ontario (April 26, 2013)--Fresh off of a win at the 61st Anniversary Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, former open-wheel racer David Ostella will join defending series champions SpeedMerchants to compete in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin 2013 season.
SpeedMerchants quickly established itself as a premier team in the inaugural season of 2011 where the team emerged as Platinum Cup champions in the GT3 Cup Challenge Canada Series. The Ontario-based team also took home the Silver Cup championship that year. In 2012 they found themselves sitting atop the leaderboards once again as the champions of both Platinum and Gold Cup competition.
Ostella, a Maple, Ontario-native, will race a full season in the Canadian series along with select events in the US-based IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama series, which will include the much-anticipated 100th US GT3 Cup Challenge event at the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.
This will be the 21-year-old driver’s first time running an entire season in a sports car series.
“Being Canadian, I’m really excited to be a part of this field,” Ostella said. “It’s near home for me and the competition is great. You say you’re racing in a Porsche and people know what that is, they’ve seen one or they own one. Everyone knows the Porsche brand and it makes the competition easy to relate to and thrilling to watch.”
SpeedMerchants will campaign a freshly-prepared 2013 Porsche GT3 Cup car for Ostella, emblazoned with the “lucky” number 13.
Ostella spent the 2011 and 2012 seasons competing in the Firestone Indy Lights Championship – the final rung on the Mazda Road to Indy ladder series. Ostella now looks to diversify his skill set by driving in an enclosed car, something he has yet to attempt in race conditions before.
Ostella and SpeedMerchants will campaign the 2013 season from common ground, with unified goals to land as many podium finishes as possible.
Ostella proved he was fully capable of doing so last season with several Indy Lights top-five finishes, as well as a second-place finish at the season finale at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.
The young open-wheel pilot then changed gear over the off-season and kicked his sports car career aspirations off with a coveted win in the LMPC category of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón at the 2013 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida.
“If you look at some of the best drivers out there right now, David has competed against them and won,” SpeedMerchants owner and driver Jim Hoddinott said.
After winning back-to-back Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin championships, SpeedMerchants hopes for a three-peat with Ostella.
“Proven by his victory at Sebring last month against many of the best pro drivers from Europe and the world, nothing pleases us more than working with such a talented young driver,” Hoddinott said. “With our history of dominating this series, this partnership should give the fans quite a show.”
The SpeedMerchants driver line-up brings capability from abroad as they field several competitors with backgrounds in Porsche Carrera Cup Asia and the Rolex Sports Car Series. Ostella will have plenty of experience to pull information from as he develops over this crucial season in his racing career.
“I’m sure this will be the best racing the series has produced,” Hoddinott said. “You will not meet a nicer guy than David. He is a statement of what a Canadian driver is.”
David Ostella and the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin Series launch their first race May 17-19 at the Castrol Victoria Day SpeedFest at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.
Fans can follow the team on Facebook at SpeedMerchantsMotorsports and David Ostella on Twitter at @DavidOstella.
For live race updates and racing news regarding Ostella and the team, follow @OstellaCorsa.