Season Recap Blog 5: Watkins Glen

Posted on: February 3rd, 2014 | No Comments


Watkins Glen International is a racetrack nestled in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, a four-hour trek south for Canadian David Ostella. Ostella traveled to The Glen for his first race in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama late last June. Both rounds of racing faced massive amounts of rain. Though the elements played to Ostella’s favor, the events of the weekend made things more challenging. From facing new competitors in a different series to racing on a different tire, the learning curve was high for Ostella, 22.

1.  Watkins Glen was your first race in the American GT3 series. Last year the series featured a lot of up-and-coming young drivers. Did you find yourself sizing up the competition?

Ostella: “I definitely was. The main reason for doing that race was to see how I do against the U.S. competition. Being a Canadian team, it was a difficult task to be competitive with the little knowledge we had about the track and the tires.”

2.  You faced terrible weather conditions with large amounts of rain pouring down during competition. Do you consider yourself a driver that handles wet tracks well?

Ostella: “I absolutely can’t stand the rain! But one thing I love is to drive in the rain. So I would say I handle racing in the rain better than most.”

3. Due to an incident on track you were not able to finish the second race. How frustrating is it to end a weekend that way?

Ostella: “It is very frustrating to leave a race weekend with a DNF (did not finish). But one thing I try to do is stay positive for the next weekend to keep the team and crew in high spirits.”

4. What differed most between racing in the American series and the Canadian series?

Ostella: “There are a few differences in the two series. There are the drivers, the teams and the tires. They had better competition in the U.S. series, and also the teams have been around longer and have the data and experience. But Canada is still an amazing series. Everyone is friendly and willing to share what they know.”

5. While you were still in your SpeedMerchants Porsche for the weekend, you had to make one major change: You switched from Michelin to Yokohama tires. How much of a difference do the tires make?

Ostella: “Tires make a big difference on the track, and for us we had no data and no testing with the Yokohama tire. So most of the setup for us was trying to figure out the best way to make the tires work for us.”

6. After racing with the American series, was there any specific competitor you were impressed with?

Ostella: “Yes, there were two drivers that were impressive – Madison Snow and Angel Benitez Jr. Both of them are young and talented drivers that would make amazing co-drivers in an endurance race. I was really impressed with