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20-year-old Australian international open wheel ace Thomas Randle will contest the 2017 Toyota Racing Series with Victory Motorsport.

2017 will be the second time the former Australian Formula Ford Champion contests the five races in five weeks championship - held on both the North and South Islands of New Zealand - and on the back of a strong debut year in BRDC Formula 3 Randle is expecting to be among the outright contenders.

"2016 has been a truly amazing year and I've been lucky enough to have driven an assortment of different cars on many great overseas tracks, some of which I'd never seen before, so to be heading to New Zealand with the experience I have amassed - and on circuits I've already been to - gives me confidence that I can be a title contender.

"I'm not underestimating the quality of the competition because there are some of the brightest young global talents entered and a few of them I have race against before; they're all seriously quick drivers.

"Like so many others I am looking to use the TRS program to keep sharp, show my competitive form and ideally secure a competitive drive in a high-profile international open wheel championship. We have a few things on the go for next year and a strong showing in the TRS will help my plans no end."

Randle has been a busy lad since returning to Australia last week, spending some time behind the wheel of one of Nissan Motorsport's Altima Supercars at a sweltering Winton circuit last Tuesday, before making the transition to Chris Lambden's Formula Thunder 5000 machine at Phillip Island the following day.

In other positive news, long-time motorsport enthusiast - and PRA team owner - Rusty French has agreed to support Randle with his future motorsport career after watching him closely over the last two racing seasons. French provided Randle with the chance to test an Erebus Motorsport Mercedes Benz SLS GT car at Phillip Island last year and sees the youngster as one of Australia's brightest international prospects.

"I first noticed Thomas at the Supercars round at Winton early last year where he was driving the Saab Sports Sedan. It was his first championship race in the class and he claimed pole position and set a new lap record, having previously never driven anything more powerful than a Formula Ford. I've been following Thomas' progress since he moved to UK and he's had a very strong year, racing - and winning - in British F3, as well as what he achieved in Formula V8 3.5 and LMP3 sports cars, while securing the BRDC Rising Star nomination was a great reflection on who he is as an individual and the genuine success he's achieved on foreign soil. I truly believe Thomas has a very bright future in motorsport and I would like to play a small part in it.

"My company, Skye Sands is delighted to continue supporting the careers of young Australian drivers on their journey into Supercars locally and Formula 1 internationally, and this support goes as far back as getting behind Will Power in his first overseas foray some years ago."

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