BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, (May 18, 2013) – Canadian Tire Motorsport Park was the site today for David Ostella‘s first event in the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin series after having run open-wheel cars his entire career. Ostella qualified and started from the second spot on the grid for SpeedMerchants in his #13 Global Precast GT3 Cup car.
The rookie’s mission was to run a clean race and stay in contention during the 45-minute sprint, so the Maple, Ontario-resident tucked into second in line on the first green-flag lap at his home track. However, his mission suffered its first setback not long after the start of the race.
“Early on we got into a little tangle there with Chris Green,” Ostella said. “But I got back out there and put my head down and really got into the groove.”
Ostella found himself in fourth place after the incident and over five seconds behind the leader. He chipped away at the deficit with some very fast laps, including a new race lap record of 1:21.464 on his 11th lap around the 10-turn circuit.
“The GT3 Cup car came in nicely about halfway like we talked about and discussed as a team,” Ostella said. “So I kept my head down and tried to run perfect laps and hit my marks.”
Ostella trimmed the gap to less than a car length, but found trouble when he and the race leader tried to make their way through lapped traffic.
“I ended up catching back up to (Spencer) Pigot at the end there,” Ostella said. “But a little incident with a lapped car while we were trying to get by kind of took me out. All-in-all it was still a great race and I’m really looking forward to tomorrow.”
Ostella held on to finish fifth, thanks to his left rear Michelin that held up under the pressure of a Porsche fender leaning against it for the last several laps. He gained valuable experience and championship points ahead of tomorrow’s race.
David Ostella and SpeedMerchants take the track for Race 2 tomorrow, May 19 at 11:30 a.m. ET to round out the Castrol Presents Victoria Day Speedfest Weekend.