David Ostella recorded his second podium finish in two career endurance racing starts, finishing third in the Prototype Challenge class with Performance Tech Motorsports in the Rolex 24 at Daytona on Jan. 25-26.
2013 Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring PC champion Ostella raced in his first Rolex 24 at Daytona this weekend with Performance Tech drivers Raphael Matos, Julio Campos, Gabriel Casagrande andTomy Drissi.
“It definitely feels good to be in a PC car only twice and land on the podium both times,” Ostella said. “I’ve got to thank Performance Tech for that because they did an awesome job here in Daytona. I didn’t get much track time until the night practice before the race, but Rafa (Matos) was a great co-driver to learn from. He did a fantastic job keeping the car on track and not making any mistakes.”
Ostella spent little time practicing Thursday, Jan. 23 and Friday, Jan. 24 due to mechanical issues. With or without track time, Toronto-area resident Ostella felt confident in his ability to help take the team from green to checkered flag in the twice-around-the-clock endurance classic.
The Performance Tech team resolved the mechanical problem before the race. Ostella and the team powered through the day and into the night fighting recurring high water temperature and on-track incidents that kept the team outside of the top five.
But Ostella brought the car near the front of the field during his multiple stints in the car, once even climbing to third. The team slipped to fourth shortly after sunrise, but Matos drove the team to the podium in the final three hours of the 24-hour race. That ensured Ostella stood once again on a podium at an endurance race.
“For the Rolex 24, we had a different strategy than the sprint races I’m used to,” Ostella said. “There were five of us in the car, so we wanted to make sure we all got our chance in the car. At the beginning of the race, we struggled a little bit, but it was a long, long 24 hours. I had a fantastic time, though, and I can’t complain.
“Finishing on the podium was definitely the cherry on top for this weekend. Throughout the race, I slept in the trailer and even in a chair in pit lane. Getting woken up to go drive a race car is definitely something I’m not used to, but it was a great challenge. There were a ton of yellows, and they lasted longer than I thought they would. In the end, sometimes they help you and sometimes they don’t, which is all part of the challenges in this 24-hour race.”
2013 Porsche GT3 Cup Canada by Michelin champion Ostella will switch gears for his next race as he is in the final stages of committing to a full season as a competitor in the Porsche GT3 Cup USA by Yokohama Series. The first race of the season will be at the 62nd Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida weekend March 12-15 at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Fla.
CHECKERED FLAG FAST FACTS:
Race: Rolex 24 At Daytona
Date: Jan. 25-26
Track: Daytona International Speedway (12 turns, 3.56 miles)
Results: No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports Oreca FLM09 (Julio Campos, Gabriel Casagrande, Tomy Drissi, Raphael Matos, David Ostella), third in Prototype Challenge class.
Next: 62nd Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida, March 12-15, Sebring, Fla.
Facebook: David Ostella