Australian international open wheel ace Thomas Randle is a late addition to this weekend's Masters of Formula 3 event to be held on the undulating 4.3k Zandvoort circuit, located seaside in Northern Holland.
The former Formula 1 venue (1948-85) will this year conduct the 26th running of the event, which has previously been won by many drivers who have gone on to establish successful careers in the world's most prestigious categories. Among those to have won the famous Masters of Formula 3 weekend are David Coulthard, Lewis Hamilton, Nico Hulkenberg, Valtteri Bottas and current teenage Red Bull F1 sensation, Max Verstappen.
20-year-old Randle - who, with one round remaining is currently placed in third position in the British Formula 3 Championship - will drive a Double R Racing Dallara, although will not have sufficient time to be able to test the car prior to the weekend. Undeterred, the former Australian Formula Ford Champion has been spending plenty of time learning the layout on a simulator and is confident of competitive showing.
"This is just a great opportunity and despite the short notice when it came up I jumped at it. Double R Racing field very competitive machinery and the car I am driving was driven to third place by Alexander Sims at Macau last year so I'm sure it will serve me well. I loved every second of driving the Dallara F3 when I did the Valencia test late last year and the Zandvoort circuit looks like it will suit my style. It won't be easy with so many talented, and more experienced F3 drivers in the field but I will be doing my very best to achieve a solid result.
"Securing this drive would not have been possible without the generous backing of Mike Newbould who has helped pull this all together, and I'll be doing all I can to repay him for his incredible support."
Double R Racing Team Principal, Anthony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt has also been instrumental in helping Randle into the Masters of F3 field.
"I heard how well Thomas tested in F3 at the Valencia circuit in 2015 and this year I've been keeping a close eye on his BRDC F3 form, where he races against our team. He's regularly been taking points from our boys and when I needed a fast driver for Zandvoort Thomas was my first choice. I'm sure he will acquit himself well throughout the weekend."
This year's Masters of F3 field sees some of the fastest youngsters and best open wheel teams vying for honours, including:
Van Amersfoort Racing - Pedro Piquet, Callum Illot, Anthoine Hubert Motopark - Sergio Sette Camara, Joel Eriksson, Niko Kari Hitech GP - Nikita Mazepin, Alex Albon, Carlin - Alessio Lorandi, Ryan Tveter, Colton Herta
WEEKEND SCHEDULE: Friday:
12:10 - 12:50: Practice 1 (8:10pm AEST)
17:05 - 17:45: Practice 2 (1:05am AEST)
10:30 - 11:00: Qualifying (6:30pm AEST)
14:45 - 15:10: Qualification Race (12 Laps) (10:45pm AEST)
15:00 - 16:00: Main race (25 Laps) (11:00pm AEST)