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Mar 16, 2014 - 06:28 AM
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2014 USCR (Sebring 12): Accident Ends Race Early For Performance Tech At Sebring
Posted by: newsla on Mar 16, 2014 - 06:19 AM
2014 USCR (Sebring 12): Accident Ends Race Early For Performance Tech At Sebring

Performance Tech Motorsports' strong start at the 62nd Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida ended with an accident at Sebring International Raceway slightly more than four hours into the historic endurance race.


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David Ostella was unhurt in the incident in Turn 17, which occurred when he was off line and lost traction in chunks of dusty rubber known as "marbles," sending the No. 38 Dash Neighborhoods/Phillips 66 Prototype Challenge (PC) class car into the outside wall with a heavy impact.

perf1"It wasn't the Sebring 12-hour race we were looking for," Ostella said. "I had an incident in Turn 17. I got a little wide and then got into the marbles that sent me right in to the wall. I'm OK, the car not so much. I know the guys will get on it, I know they will. It's just about putting this one behind us and looking ahead to the next one."

The No. 38 Dash Neighborhoods/ Phillips 66 PC started from the second position in the PC class with Raphael Matos behind the wheel. Matos' knowledge of the historic track due to his seven previous starts at Sebring helped him quickly find pace and take the lead.

After completing his first stint with ease, Matos brought in the car for Ostella, who also quickly produced strong pace. He ran near the top of the pack, fighting off competitors as he held on to the lead.

Ostella suffered a minor spin in Turn 17 that dropped him to sixth place. But he turned quick laps to claw back time after a quick pit stop to check the car. Then the accident occurred in the challenging, fast, bumpy Turn 17 to end Performance Tech's day early.

Team Principal Brent O'Neill was disappointed but more concerned with his driver's safety.

"The car was good, but we all make mistakes," O'Neill said. "David made a little mistake in (Turn) 17. It's tough for the whole team, but when you're running hard, things happen. We'll regroup here, get it all back together and get ready for the next race."

Matos gave guidance to Ostella through the week and thinks Ostella can use the incident as a learning tool.

"I feel horrible," Matos said. "David was doing a great job. He made a mistake while pushing hard to recover from a spin, and unfortunately it happened. Everyone makes mistakes. It's important to take a lesson from this and move on. It's still a long season, and I think the team will recover from this."

The unfortunate incident ended driver Charlie Shears weekend early, but Shears noted he has been in Ostella's shoes before.

"It was a rough day," Shears said. "We had a great car. Rafa (Matos) did a great job this morning, and David (Ostella) was doing great. I certainty know how he feels. He's going to beat himself up. It's unfortunate, but that's racing."

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