MONTEREY, Calif. (May 4, 2014) – David Ostella faced a frustrating end to the weekend after a crash exiting Turn 3 ended his race in the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports Prototype Challenge car on Sunday in the Continental Tire Grand Prix of Monterey at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Ostella’s weekend ended while he was running second 30 minutes before the end of the two-hour IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race.
Ostella was gaining ground on class leader Bruno Junqueira when Ostella exited Turn 3 wide and spun. The rear of the ORECA FLM09 machine suffered damage when it was thrown backward into the wall, missing the tire barrier. He drove the car away from the incident, trying to return to the pits for repairs. But a GT Daytona class car struck Ostella’s car from behind in the famed “Corkscrew” turn, forcing him to park the car on the side of the track.
The final hit officially ended the weekend for Ostella, co-driver Charlie Shears and the Performance Tech team. It was the second consecutive premature exit this season for the team, which also went out early due to an accident at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida in March at Sebring, Fla.
“I just had a driver error,” Ostella said. “I was dropping the wheel there in the exit of Turn 3. And then looped it. I feel horrible. That’s two in a row now. I feel bad for the guys.
“The car was doing great out there. I feel bad for all the sponsors and Charlie. I’m sure the guys will get it back together. We’ll be doing some testing, and it will be good to just build my confidence back up and get in the car for some testing and then race in Kansas. The positive thing is that I know we have a good race car, and it’s just getting rid of those driver errors.”
Before the incident, Ostella pushed the car to turn a top lap time of 1:22.345, picking off competitors after taking over for Shears in the fifth position on the 11-turn, 2.238-mile circuit.
Ostella’s goal remains to find the podium again for his Performance Tech Motorsports family after landing third place at the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona. He next heads to Kansas Speedway with the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda field for a combined race June 6-7.