The first round of the 2017 VAG Trophy represented a milestone for both Getac UK and racer Kyle Owen-Bradshaw. For Getac it was their first foray into motorsports sponsorship and for Kyle it was his first professional race. With a flurry of activity leading up to the first race weekend it was an exciting time for all concerned and a tense but optimistic atmosphere filled the team as the action got underway.
|The qualifying session started at 8am and Kyle had a very clear target for this session; push as hard as he could but, ultimately, just settle into his first race meeting. Given the accelerated timescale of putting the team together, Friday’s testing session had been the very first time that Kyle had driven this particular car. With that in mind, and with the obvious excitement of this being his first professional race meeting, Kyle set about the qualifying session with a determination and professionalism that impressed all in the team.||© Maximumgroup.net VAG Trophy. Photo: Jakob Ebrey|
With just 15 minutes available to set a qualifying time and a number of yellow flags interrupting his progress, Kyle put in a number of good laps and ended up 14th out of 18, narrowly missing out on an even higher position by just a couple of tenths of a second. Overall, everybody was happy and Kyle had successfully completed his first ever qualifying.
|At the start of Race 1, Kyle’s target was clear; make up places. His focus was razor-sharp heading out on to the track and, as the lights turned green, Kyle had to react quickly as the car in front of him on the grid stalled. Unfortunately, as he had to lift off the power to avoid a collision, this put Kyle back to 17th place. It would have been all to easy for him to lose faith as a result but quite the opposite happened. He was still determined to make up places from his original 14th grid slot so he pressed on and, owing to some fine car placement and bravery on the brakes, by the end of the first lap Kyle was up to 12th.|
|Spurred on by this early success, Kyle continued his progress forward and gradually caught up with the pack in front. As the laps passed and his confidence grew, Kyle was able to consistently push that little bit harder and carry a little more speed into the mighty turn 1. This got him up to 9th and, coming out of the final corner, Kyle was poised to move up into 8th only to be met with a red flag as the race had to be stopped owing to a car stopped in a dangerous position coming out of turn 1. Although disappointed that he didn’t have an opportunity to move up into 8th, Kyle was exceptionally happy with his performance in his first race, especially considering that many of his competitors, including some of those who he had beaten, had been driving in professional motorsport for a number of years.|
|Owing to the accident in the first race, one of the cars was unable to take to the grid in Race 2 pushing Kyle up to an 8th place start. The prospect of making up more places was very much front-of-mind as Kyle sat on the grid awaiting the start and it would have been easy to let nerves get the better of him. But, once again, Kyle’s composure and car control in the difficult braking area going into Turn 2 saw him up to 5th place within the space of just two corners. He continued to push ahead and was closing in on 4th place when he had a scary moment of oversteer. His great car control saw him able to regain control and get back on track, albeit in 7th place now.|
|After regaining his focus, Kyle started to push again but, on the following lap, has another oversteer moment and decided that, owing to his pushing so hard on qualifying and the first race, his tyres have seen better days. Now being in 11th place, Kyle decides that discretion is the better part of valour and settles on ensuring that he brings the car home in one piece. He finishes the race in 11th place which puts him in 10th position in the championship at the end of his first race weekend.|
|Overall it was a very successful first race weekend for Kyle and the team. Kyle’s main focus was on getting through the weekend and securing two finishes not only for his own progress towards moving up to the next license level, but also to ensure that Getac were presented in the best possible light by finishing both races. As the season progresses, Kyle aims to achieve ever better results but, at this early stage, consistency and finishing are just as important as ultimate positions and Kyle represented both himself and Getac Racing incredibly well and impressed all those around him with his skill and professionalism.|
|The next round of the championship takes place at Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk on Saturday 27th May 2017.|