KYLE Owen-Bradshaw secured his first-ever podium finish when taking third place in round three of the VAG Trophy at Brands Hatch on Saturday.

The Slough-based driver went high into turn one in race one and, taking a different line to the car ahead, tried to get a better exit. As he hoped, the car in front ran wide on the exit and the Team Hard Racing star managed to cut back on the inside and take third place.

With his nerves on a knife-edge and fighting the car through very difficult conditions on the Kent circuit, Owen-Bradshaw kept his head for the next two laps to take the chequered flag and a much-deserved podium finish.

Needless to say, he was absolutely elated, as were the whole of his crew and team from Team Hard Racing. Owen-Bradshaw had taken his first podium in the wet and on a circuit that he had never driven before qualifying that morning.

After taking his place on the podium and receiving his trophy, he said: “Heading up to the podium and hearing my name announced I thought, I could get used to this. This is what I’ve worked towards, representing my sponsors and team on the podium.”

Just as it looked like a second podium of the day was within Owen-Bradshaw’s grasp in race two, disaster struck when there was a sudden massive drop in power and smoke started to pour from the engine.

The Slough ace kept his head and sensibly got off the racing line to pull the car over to retire.

Whilst he was understandably very disappointed with the failure, and gutted for himself, the team and sponsors, this is unfortunately just a part of racing.

Slough Observer:

PHOTO: Kyle Owen-Bradshaw (centre) celebrates his podium finish with two teammates on Saturday.

However, in a manner that belied his rookie status, Owen-Bradshaw was quick to focus on the fact that he had managed to gain a first podium in difficult conditions and on a circuit that he had driven properly for the first time that very morning.

Upon reflection, he said: “I was elated to have been able to get a podium in those conditions when my primary aim was to see the race through and come home ideally with a top-1o finish.

“I have to thank Team Hard Racing and my two top mechanics for a cracking job in getting the set-up just right.

“It was a day of ups-and-downs, but at least we now know for sure that we have the car, the team, and the driver to get those podiums.

“I also have to express many thanks to my primary sponsor, Getac, without whom I really wouldn’t be living this dream. They’ve enabled me to not only pursue a childhood dream but also represent them on the podium in my rookie year of racing in such a competitive championship.

“Finally I can’t forget all of the others who have helped me get on the path I’m on today. A big thank you to Varoosh Sports Partnerships, Jellyfish Designs, Allprint Supplies (Slough), Slough Audi, Motion Simulation Race Room, Drift Innovation, Dread, Bespoke Automotive Customs, plus friends and family.”

The next round of the championship takes place at Brands Hatch in Kent this Saturday.

Check out our Observer sports Facebook page. Search: Robert Observer Sport and like, follow and share today.