INDIANAPOLIS (July 25, 2014) – David Ostella was poised for a podium finish but settled for fourth place in the Prototype Challenge class Friday in the Brickyard Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Ostella, from Maple, Ontario, qualified the No. 38 Dash Neighborhood/Phillips 66 car fourth Thursday after a strong last-lap effort. Due to a penalty assessed to another team, Ostella’s co-driver, James French, started the two-hour, 45-minute TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race in third position.
“I have to work on getting quick times earlier, but I’m on pace with (pole sitter) Colin (Braun) both in qualifying, and then in the race we were right there,” Ostella said.
French laid down consistent laps in the first half of the race, bringing the Performance Tech Motorsports car to the driver change in second place and on the lead lap for Ostella to take charge.
After the stop, Ostella returned to the track in fifth place. He then began what has become his trademark methodical climb through the field on the 14-turn, 2.435-mile road course that incorporates part of the famous IMS oval.
Ostella worked his way to as high as second place, but the need to conserve fuel forced him to throttle back and take the checkered flag in fourth.
“We didn’t really have any mistakes on track,” Ostella said. “A few little ones, but qualifying was great, and I had no issues there. We’re getting there, slowly but surely. By the end of the year, we should have a really good result.”
The fourth-place finish was a better result than the last time Ostella ran at IMS during his Indy Lights career, when he crashed out of the 2012 Firestone Freedom 100 in a multi-car accident, suffering the hardest hit of his racing career.
“It’s definitely a better memory from the last time I was here,” Ostella said. “But I think it goes back to the beginning of the year. I think I put too much pressure on myself to do well, and I had a few mistakes at Sebring and Laguna. Working with Jonathan to get everything organized for myself and stay on pace has helped, and it’s definitely starting to show. It showed at Watkins Glen and now here.”
Ostella and his Performance Tech crew will race next August 8-10 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, the next round of TUDOR Championship competition.
For more information or to donate to Ostella’s charity, Dash from Breast Cancer, visit davidostella.com/dash-from-breast-cancer/. Keep up with Ostella’s on track progress by following him on Twitter at @OstellaCorsa and on Facebook. For personal updates from Ostella, follow him on Twitter at @davidostella.