AUSTIN, Texas (Sept. 20, 2014) – A weekend reminiscent of a sad country song, David Ostella faced a heart breaking weekend at Circuit of the Americas when his first Lone Star Le Mans weekend ended early due to a broken pickup point.
Early on in Ostella’s stint of the 2 hour and 45-minute race he ran into issues handling the No. 38 Dash Neighborhood/ Phillips 66 Prototype Challenge car. After a quick radio check with the crew during the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race to explain that something was off with the left front of the car, Ostella cruised into the pits to face disappointment as head engineer, Ty Sayman, declared that a broken pickup point was the problem.
With only one hour remaining in the race, there was not enough time to fix the No. 38 Oreca FLM-09 and recover position on track. Ostella and the team were forced to retire from the race.
Ostella had been climbing back through the field after taking the car over from co-driver James French halfway through the race in the fifth position before the issue arose.
French had driven through nearly the entire TUDOR United SportsCar Championship field to find his position after the team’s failure to qualify forced them to start from the back of the field therefore making Ostella and French’s effort all the more impressive.
“The biggest thing for me after this is just focusing on our program for the season finale at Petit,” Ostella said. “Our race program has been about finding the perfect setup. We worked on getting faster in qualifying but our focus is on our setup for race day. I think it shows when we get into the race, we’re always quick. That’s where it matters, especially for the longer races like Petit Le Mans. I think that is going to be key.”
Ostella will next race in the famous 10-hour endurance event, Petit Le Mans Powered by Mazda at Road Atlanta October 2-4. The race will be broadcasted on FOX, check local listings for details.