MONTREAL, Canada (June 9, 2013) – Rookie David Ostella and his SpeedMerchants team had high expectations this weekend at Montreal as part of the Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada. Though he was coming off a win at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in the opening weekend for the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin Series, Ostella remained focused on collecting points toward the Championship in his No. 13 Global Precast Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car.
“I’ve just been trying to stay focused on what I have to do on the track,” Ostella said. “Each race is very important, especially considering the fact that there are only 10 races throughout the season.”
The Maple, Ontario native took the green flag for yesterday’s Race One in third position after advancing to that spot in qualifying by laying down his fastest laps at the end of the session. However, a jumbled but clean start to the event left Ostella fighting from fourth place.
The rookie quickly put his head down, fixated on the distant tail lamps of Spencer Pigot and Marco Cirone who were battling in the second and third positions around the 4.36-kilometer, 14-turn circuit.
Ostella chipped away at the gap to put himself into position for a well-executed overtake in the Turn 11 hairpin to get around Cirone for third. Cirone made an attempt to get around Ostella on the following lap, but could not hold the position.
Time would run out before Ostella could track down Pigot for second, even though he set the second-fastest lap time on the final lap of the race while nearly closing the distance on his competition.
“The race was good,” Ostella said. “The team did an awesome job. The car was really good. We fell back to fourth on the start. After that I just put my head down and just tried to get some laps in, landed in third, which was nice.”
After his podium in front of friends and family in the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve grandstands on Saturday, Ostella started Sunday’s Race Two once again in third position. Yesterday’s winner, Chris Green, and Pigot started first and second, respectively, ahead of Ostella.
On the first lap of the race, Ostella’s GT3 Cup car’s fail-safe engaged and nearly caused an incident between Ostella and his SpeedMerchants teammate Anthony Mantella. However, Ostella was able to quickly recover and keep his position, but not without giving up precious time to Green and Pigot.
As with Race One, Ostella knew that his only option was to regain his focus, be patient, and concentrate on flawless execution of laps.
“After the restart I just kept my position,” Ostella said. “I figured I needed to do perfect laps and just stay with them. I would have battled it out with (Green and Pigot) if anything.”
“If anything,” was the heated battle by Green and Pigot ahead of him that would ultimately end up in failure for both when contact occurred in the Turn 11 hairpin. The teammates both retired early, giving the lead to Ostella.
“I was just happy to stay out there and not make any mistakes on my own,” Ostella said. “I was hoping that Green and Pigot would battle it out and I could catch up to them, but being in the right place at the right time, that’s what that race was about.”
The rookie was unchallenged to the finish and took the top step of the podium for a win in front of the growing Formula 1 crowd. His focus coming into the weekend was rewarded with a points lead in the Championship as he leaves Canada’s cultural capitol.
“Being here in Montreal and having a win on F1 weekend is just phenomenal,” Ostella said of his experience. “Words can’t describe a win here at this race.”
Ostella next takes the track at Watkins Glen International June 28-30, where he will participate in the US-version of GT3 Cup competition, the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama series for their prestigious 100th race. His next Canadian series event is July 19-21 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Ostella will compete in both the Canadian series and the US series on that weekend.