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Jun 30, 2014 - 07:06 AM
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Performance Tech Fights for Fourth
Posted by: newsla on Jun 30, 2014 - 07:04 AM
USCR News
Performance Tech Fights for Fourth


How do you deal with an hour of
Watkins Glen International without power steering in a Prototype Challenge (PC) car?

 

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Performance Tech Motorsports driver, David Ostella manhandled the No. 38 Dash Neighborhood/Phillips 66 PC car around the track through traffic to a nail-biting, fourth-place finish in the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen.

A late caution, from a Prototype and PC car incident, left the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship field with enough time for a green/white flag ending. The incident intially placed Performance Tech in third for the restart, a lucky break after being forced to the back of the PC field due to a pit speed violation.
A power steering failure had Ostella manually pushing the PC car around the track from third position until he received a pass-around, a call that allows class cars to stay on the same lap under caution. In the confusion of the pass-around Ostella was passed and restarted the race from fourth place.

Toronto-area native, Ostella fought to regain position. Coming around Turn 5 he placed the PC car behind a Daytona Prototype car, hoping he could follow what should be a faster car through the turn to gain back third place. Unfortunately the DP car merely became more traffic for Ostella. Finally passing the Prototype class car in Turn 6, Ostella was never able to catch his place on podium.

"Unfortunate to have to do the drive through penalty," Ostella said. "It kind of stunk. While we were out there we had a power steering failure and it was pretty hard to drive the last hour without power steering. I just tried to keep my head in it, just tried to hold position as best as possible. Had a little mishap with the pass-arounds going on, but a solid fourth place finish. I just can't thank the guys enough, the car was solid the whole weekend. Kept it safe, kept it clean and looking forward to see what else we can do this year."

Teammate, Mike Hedlund faced less dramatic stints in the No. 38. Encountering difficulties in his first hour, the car was more to his liking for his second stint. Hedlund drove the car with grace as he maneuvered it to first place before handing off to Ostella for the final two hours. It was during his final pit stop that Hedlund, in a rush to hand over his hard earned position, received the pit speed violation.

"It was a lot of fun," Hedlund said. "The first stint was a little rough but the second time I was in the car, the car was great. We were going pretty fast there, fast enough. I made a mistake coming in the pits apparently and earned a pit speed violation, which was a bummer, but we fought through that. And then we had some bad luck with a mechanical, and that's racing."

Team Principal Brent O'Neill, though perplexed by the loss of position during the pass-around, was energized with the fight his drivers showed. The fourth place finish is the team's highest finish since placing third at the 24 Hours At Daytona earlier this season.

"At the end of the weekend to walk away here with fourth was pretty good," O'Neill said. "With Mike (Hedlund) in the car, who did a great job, we had a challenge of bringing in a new guy. With an hour left we lost the power steering and David (Ostella) was hustling the car around without any power steering. We aren't sure what happened at the end there with the pass-around and a car passing us under caution. We'll see if race control does anything about it. Overall though, it was a good weekend."

The PC car will stretch its legs next at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July. Qualifying begins at 4:45 p.m. (ET) Friday, July 24 with the Brickyard Grand Prix taking place at 5:45 p.m. Saturday, July 25.

For updates from Performance Tech Motorsports, follow the team on Facebook and Twitter at @Perf_Tech.

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