Australian open wheel ace, 20-year-old Thomas Randle, vaulted into third place in the BRDC British Formula 3 Championship after claiming second place overall during the second title round held at the Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit last weekend.
Having never previously raced at the historic venue - located near Kent in the UK - the 2014 Australian Formula Ford champion qualified in ninth place, before driving a very strong opening race, held in slippery and damp conditions, to claim fourth position at the chequered flag. Randle was the star of the race, passing his way through the field with a number of well-executed manoeuvres, impressing greatly in what was his debut event at the Brands Hatch circuit.
Race two, which sees the top eight finishers from race one reversed, saw Randle starting fifth and embroiled in a wild battle throughout. Despite repeated attempts he could not find a way by the busy lead pack and such was the closeness of the battle Randle's fastest lap was only good enough for the 14th fastest time, which determined his starting position for the final event.
Heading into the race Randle has his sights set on trying to move well into the top 10 but even he couldn't have predicted the stunning opening lap that was to come. From lights out Randle flew away from the line, before making a number of bold and daring passes to finish the first lap in eight position, having passed six cars in the process! Two cars were eliminated in an incident, but the fired-up Melbourne-born youngster continued his charge threw the field to claim an incredible third place at the chequered flag.
"I'm very happy to be back on form and loved the Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit. It's fast, undulating a great track to race on, which makes our result even more rewarding. I was so heavily embroiled in hectic battles in the first two races that I didn't have the chance to set a quick lap time, which meant I had to start the final way down in 14th position. My initial goal was to try and secure a top-10 finish, so to be in the top five by lap four was a great outcome.
"It was a really busy race and I can't thank the guys at Douglas Motorsport enough, and my engineer, Marcus who has never stopped believing in me. I feel very sorry for my team mate Enaam who had a horror run all weekend long, but this result feels like a win to me.
"After the dramas of the first round we're now right back in the championship and with more testing to come this week at Rockingham I am sure we can continue to challenge for podium positions and ideally my first race win."
Round 3 of the BRDC British F3 Championship will take place at Rockingham, near Corby, during the weekend of April 30-May 1.