Ayla Agren pulled out all the stops during her first weekend in F1600 Championship Series, coming away from Virginia International Raceway with a pole position, podium and Top 10.
The 19-year-old from Slemmestad, Norway made her F1600 debut with Bryan Herta Autosport on the 3.27-mile, 17-turn permanent road course. Never having been to the course prior to her debut, Agren took the first day of practice to learn the course and get the most out of her time on the track. When the second and third day rolled around, however, the Norwegian held nothing back and qualified in the Top 10 starting Race One in sixth. Still learning her way around the Mygale F1600 car and the brand-new course, Ayla came to the twin checkers in eighth, garnering her first career F1600 Championship Top 10.
Following a great start in the next step of Agren’s career, the rookie qualified on pole position for Race Two. Not getting the best restart following a full course caution at the beginning of 12-lap race, Agren fell back to fourth. Fighting all the way to the finish, the Norwegian star made a fantastic pass on the final lap to finish on the podium in third.
“It was a great learning curve through the weekend,” Agren commented. “It didn’t begin exactly the way I was hoping, however, we kept working, looking at data, comparing with my teammate Adrian, who has been a big help, and it worked out in the end. I was able to find more speed by the end, and I’m really happy how it all turned out, especially on Sunday where I managed to grab my first F1600 pole and a podium finish.”
“I have to thank the Bryan Herta Autosport guys for all of their hard work and pushing me to be a better driver, my sponsors in Norway – Energima, 28/24 Eiendom, Alt I Asfalt and Junior Team Norway – for all of their support and CoForce International for their never-ending encouragement and guidance. I’m really looking forward to get back on track at Road Atlanta in May.”