BOWMANVILLE, Ontario (July 21, 2013)– Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin points leader David Ostella entered this weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) with two goals in mind. The 21-year-old rookie looked to defend his points lead in the Canadian series and try his hand once more against the competition in the US-based IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama.
With both the US and Canadian versions of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge running in this weekend’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix, Ostella and his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup were faced with a number of challenges.
“I can’t thank the SpeedMerchants guys enough for switching the car back and forth between the two Canadian and the US series all weekend,” Ostella said. “The Porsche car was amazing, it took a little bit of abuse during the 8 practice sessions, 2 qualifying sessions and 4 races. But it’s a phenomenal car and I can’t thank Porsche enough for giving us a great series and a great car to race with.”
ULTRA 94 PORSCHE GT3 CUP CHALLENGE CANADA BY MICHELIN
Round 5 yesterday began with Ostella starting seventh on the grid at the 2.459-mile, 10-turn circuit. A slim seven-point lead is all that separated him from the competition when he took the green flag for the 45-minute sprint.
As Ostella has done several times this season, he confided in his Porsche GT3 Cup car, his team’s preparation and his own diligence as he set out to catch the polesitter who was also second in points behind him. His confidence paid immediate dividends as Ostella gained one position per lap in the first five laps to capture second and put the leader in sight.
A caution flag period midway through the race bunched up the field for a restart and a chance for Ostella to make a run for the lead, but time ran out as another yellow came out just as Ostella had closed up the gap on the leader. He happily took home second place today as the race ended under caution.
“It was an amazing race,” Ostella exclaimed. “We started off seventh and quickly made our way up to second. The GT3 Cup car and the Michelin tires were just phenomenal. The race ended on yellow, wish it didn’t, I think we could have had something for Chris (Green) at the end there. It was a phenomenal race, I can’t thank the SpeedMerchants guys enough, they did a great job.”
Ostella began today’s Round 6 in seventh just as yesterday. His race would follow a similar path as yesterday’s as well as the rookie proceeded diligently through the field to find third place on the eleventh lap.
Running clean and fast laps, the front three GT3 Cup drivers settled into a long green-flag run that would last the length of the race. Ostella continued to chip away at the gap in front of him and made his move with two laps remaining. Setting up a pass in the Esses, Ostella overtook Chris Green for second and set his eyes on the leader. But like yesterday, he once again ran out of time.
“Another phenomenal race,” Ostella said. “We definitely fought hard in this one, a bit more action than the first race. The Michelins fell off a little more in the front than I expected, but I was pushing hard early. It was a great race. JF (Laberge) drove a hell of a race staying up front. It was clean, I was waiting for any mistakes, waiting to make some moves, but he was driving an awesome race and the same with Chris (Green). But at the end there I just think I had a little more of the Michelins left and was able to push a little harder, so I think that kind of helped me. I was able to get Chris at the end and just stay ahead. It was a great race, the team did an awesome job and the GT3 Cup car was awesome out there. Now on to Trois-Rivières.”
IMSA GT3 CUP CHALLENGE BY YOKOHAMA
The Maple, Ontario native first lined his GT3 Cup 911 up yesterday for Round 7 of the US-series championship. Starting ninth, Ostella advanced three positions against the deep field of talented teams and drivers to finish sixth on the day. This was the fourth time this year that journeyman Ostella competed in an IMSA-sanctioned series other than his own.
“The first (US GT3 Cup Challenge) race was more about taking it easy,” Ostella said. “These Porsche GT3 Cup cars are strong, but we didn’t want to risk serious damage to it. I really wanted to win, but I was definitely focused on the Canadian Championship, so I need to save the car for today’s Canadian GT3 Cup Challenge race. The car was great and it was definitely good momentum going into today’s Canadian race. We are really happy with sixth.”
In today’s Round 8 of the US championship, Ostella took the green flag 10th behind some very fast US-based teams and drivers. Thus began the segue into a repeat performance for Ostella.
In the opening lap of the race, Ostella took his No. 13 immediately to seventh position, but circled around to a yellow flag brought out by a multi-car incident on the first lap. When the field went back to green, he settled into a steady pace and picked off positions five and six in the next few laps. Ostella made his final pass of the race for fourth and held the position until the checkers flew.
“Today’s race was amazing in the US series,” Ostella said. “The Porsche car was phenomenal and it ran really well with the Yokohama tires. It was great to start 10th and end fourth for our sponsor Global Precast. I really couldn’t ask for a better end to the weekend.”
Ostella still leads the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin Series by seven points and will continue his efforts at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières August 9-11 in Trois-Rivières, Quebec.