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May 05, 2014 - 09:58 AM
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Thirty Minutes Too Soon: Performance Tech Motorsports Ends Weekend Early
Posted by: newsla on May 05, 2014 - 09:53 AM
Sports Cars
Thirty Minutes Too Soon: Performance Tech Motorsports Ends Weekend Early

Performance Tech Motorsports had maneuvered the Dash Neighborhoods/Phillips 66 No. 38 Prototype Challenge car from sixth to second when the car spun into the wall exiting Turn 3 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, ending its race 30 minutes early.


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The team, featuring drivers David Ostella and Charlie Shears, was credited with eighth in the Prototype Challenge class of the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race on the 11-turn, 2.238-mile circuit.

Ostella was behind the wheel of the ORECA FLM09 machine when he went wide coming out of Turn 3 and his attempt at recovery came too late. Ostella hit the wall, missing the tire barrier, causing damage to the rear end of the car.

Ostella returned to the track to try to drive the No. 38 back to the pits when he found himself in a mix of GT Daytona cars. One of the GTD cars hit Ostella from behind exiting the famous "Corkscrew" turn, eliminating the Performance Tech car from the race.

The No. 38 was running second in class behind the No. 09 car of former IndyCar driver Bruno Junqueira just before the accident. Ostella had been gaining ground on veteran star Junqueira, turning lap times of 1:22.345.

Ostella was incredibly frustrated with his performance after the team's second straight early exit this season.

"The start was awesome," Ostella said. "Charlie was doing great job out there. And we came into the pits, did the driver change. On fresh tires, the car was great. It felt very consistent. I just had a little bit of a driver error. 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 think we were sitting second at the time. Yeah, I feel bad for all the sponsors and Charlie. So we'll see. 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."

Shears drove his first stint of the season before Ostella's incident.

Shears began the race from the sixth position but fell to seventh after getting caught in traffic on the start. Shears positioned himself to climb the field after early-race chaos led to an early yellow allowing the field to regroup.

From the restart, Shears found himself in a battle with the No. 54 CORE Autosport car of Jon Bennett. Shears and Bennett battled for multiple laps before Shears took over sixth. Shears also picked off the No. 8 of Starworks Motorsport during his stint, pulling away in fifth before pitting for the driver change.

"The car felt perfect," Shears said. "It was good racing out there. With two IndyCar drivers, this field has some tough competitors. I felt great out there. The car was running great, so it's disappointing to have our day end like this again. But I know this team, and I know they'll get the car back together for Kansas."

The next race weekend for Performance Tech Motorsports will take place June 6-7 at Kansas Speedway. It will be another unique event, as the PC field joins the Prototype Lites field for a combined race.

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