DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – official release — PTM photo — Performance Tech Motorsports will roll into Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the No. 38 Dash Neighborhoods/Phillips 66 Prototype Challenge car and a new face to accompany David Ostella behind the wheel.
James French, 22, will share driving duties with Ostella in the Brickyard Grand Prix on Friday on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course that incorporates part of the famous IMS oval.
French ran a partial schedule in the PC class in the American Le Mans Series from 2011-13. He primarily races in SCCA competition and also drives a 1997 Formula One car in vintage competition, including the SVRA event in early June at IMS.
Wisconsin native French has landed on the podium two of the five PC races he’s competed in and hopes to stand on the famed podium atop Victory Circle at IMS during the Brickyard Grand Prix.
“Coming in to a new team obviously has its challenges when they’re five races into the season,” French said. “There are a little nerves involved. But if there’s no pressure, then it isn’t fun. The goal is to win, but I’d really love to just not get third. I always seem to end up third. I’m looking forward to racing with David Ostella. He’s my age, so I think we’ll have similar determination to win.”
Ostella, 22, is returning to IMS with hopes of creating a memory of a podium finish. He raced twice on the famed oval, in 2011-12, in the Firestone Freedom 100 during his open-wheel career in Indy Lights. This will be his first start on the infield road course, as he joins the small group of drivers who have raced on both circuits at the Brickyard.
After a fourth-place finish with a new teammate in late June at Watkins Glen
International, Ostella is confident in Team Principal Brent O’Neill’s ability to pair him with drivers that compliment his driving style.
“I think it’s going to be great to have another guy in the car around the same age as me,” Ostella said. “I’m sure he’ll have corners where he’s faster than me, and I’ll have corners where I’m faster than him. It should be fun to compare data with each other to help the other improve. There’s a lot of good competition, so we’ll have to work hard.”
O’Neill, with eyes set on the podium, is excited to see what this new duo will do in Indianapolis.
“James (French) is young and fits Performance Tech’s style,” O’Neill said. “He is very smooth in the car and does not make mistakes. I think his personality is a lot like David (Ostella), and they will fit really well together. He (French) only got a few laps testing with us, but I look for him to be up to speed right away.”