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Jul 26, 2014 - 06:33 AM
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Performance Tech Finishes Fourth At Indy After Fuel Gamble Falls Just Short
Posted by: newsla on Jul 26, 2014 - 06:30 AM
USCR News
Performance Tech Finishes Fourth At Indy After Fuel Gamble Falls Just Short


Performance Tech Motorsports conserved fuel to finish fourth in the Prototype Challenge class during the Brickyard Grand Prix on Friday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

 

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Driver David Ostella pitted for fuel and tires in the No. 38 Dash Neighborhoods/Phillips 66 Prototype Challenge car with 45 minutes left in the two-hour, 45-minute TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race, He had run as high as second place in Performance Tech's first entry into this prestigious event.

But with no yellow flag in sight, the team went into fuel conservation mode to make it to the end of the race. Team officials thought rivals ahead on the track would need to make a late dash to the pits for fuel, enabling Ostella to drive past and deliver Performance Tech its second podium finish of the season. But all of those rival teams made it to the finish without stopping.

Team Principal Brent O'Neill was gutted the team strategy encountered a flaw but still was impressed with the effort of his team and drivers Ostella and newcomer James French.

"It was an awesome run by both of them," O'Neill said. "James' first time in the car, did a great job, kept us out front and led some of the race. We put David in, and he did a great job. We put ourselves in the position to be on the top step.

"We ran in conservation mode at the end because we thought two of the cars in front would have to stop for fuel. I guess we were wrong. We look forward to Road America and bringing James with us. It will be a good time."

French ran in a steady second place for the first 65 minutes of the race before handing the car to Ostella, who joined the race in fifth place after the driver change.

Ostella gained ground initially but once given the call to conserve fuel, he was forced to throttle back and unable catch the cars in front of him.

"It was phenomenal, the car was great," Ostella said. "I have to thank James French for coming on board. He did a great job, and it was his first time in our PC car. He ran upfront, can't complain about that.

"The big thing today was with fuel; we tried to make it last until the end. Conserving the fuel kind of hurt us on time, but in the end, we didn't have to come in. Unfortunately, none of the other guys did, either, so it didn't really work too much to our advantage. Another phenomenal weekend with Performance Tech."

French took the lead early in the race. After a quick pit stop for fuel, he re-entered the race in fourth and fought back to second before handing the car to Ostella. French was thrilled with his first performance with the team.

"Honestly, the moment I heard I was in the lead position I had a little celebration, but I still had a lot of pressure on me this race," French said. "There was a lot of pressure from the guy behind me, and I could tell he had more pace than I did. I was trying to hold him off the best I could. Then the long yellow flag came out, and David did an awesome job. It was an awesome first stint for me. Honestly, it was a lot of fun."

Performance Tech's next stop on the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship schedule is Aug. 8-10 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. French once again will join Ostella on track with Performance Tech, and the race will be a home event for French, from Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

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