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Aug 25, 2014 - 06:15 AM
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Ostella, French Drive Performance Tech to Season-Best PC Finish at VIR
Posted by: newsla on Aug 25, 2014 - 06:14 AM
Ostella, French Drive Performance Tech to Season-Best PC Finish at VIR

Performance Tech Motorsports teammates David Ostella and James French brought the No. 38 Dash Neighborhood/Phillips 66 Prototype Challenge car back to the podium for the second time this TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season.


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Ostella and French combined to finish a season-best second in the Oak Tree Grand Prix at Virginia International Raceway. Their overall result from the two 45-minute segments - one Saturday, another Sunday - delivered the team's first podium result since the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona in January. French drove the No. 38 Saturday, with Ostella in the seat Sunday.

"It's great to be back here on the podium," Ostella said. "I have to thank James (French) for taking us from seventh to third yesterday. The car wasn't the greatest today. We struggled with the setup. We just tried to stay competitive and keep the car up there. It worked out. This is the best podium so far this year for the team. The guys did an awesome job this weekend."

The Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda series was on track alongside the PC class. The No. 9 of Robert Alon and the No. 125 of Joel Janco struggled throughout the race with electrical issues. Both drivers entered the pits during the race, but the team decided to return them to the track despite the problems.

"I think I had a better pace out there than Mikhail (Goikhberg)," Alon said of the Lites race winner. "Or at least that's what it looked like. I had the best pace of the weekend for me. I think I could have been on the podium, but the car shut off a few times through the race. This weekend I learned that you have to try everything and to finish the race no matter what."

Janco echoed Alon's thoughts a day after he was eliminated from the race Saturday in a crash.

"I started off doing pretty well,"
Janco said. "I'm not really sure what happened with the car. My car also had shut off a few times during the race. After yesterday, this wasn't the race we were hoping to have. Hopefully, we'll have it figured out for Atlanta."

Team Principal Brent O'Neill had mixed emotions after the race - joy over the team's second podium of the season in PC but disappointment for his Prototype Lites drivers.

"It was a great day as far as the PC car goes," O'Neill said. "We had made a change before the race, and I think that hurt us a little. David (Ostella) didn't have confidence in the rear of the car. But we finished second, and now we'll try to do one better.

"The Lites guys, it was just a rough day. Joel (Janco) went off and came in the pits. Robert (Alon) had the car shut off after going across the curbs really hard, and he came in. That took him out of the race. It's not what we wanted for them."

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