ONE OF Australia’s brightest young racing prospects will trade wings and slicks for classic muscle car power this weekend at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide.
2017 Toyota Racing Series champion Thomas Randle is a late addition to the Touring Car Masters ranks this weekend, set to jump behind the wheel of Rusty French’s stunning Skye Sands 1969 Ford Boss Mustang.
Randle has quickly risen to become one of the country’s top international talents, sweeping to the ultra-competitive title in New Zealand earlier in February – backing up from a race-winning season in the tough British Formula 3 championship last year.
The 2014 Australian Formula Ford Champion also finished second in the 2015 Australian Formula 4 Championship - but isn’t just experienced in the world of high performance open wheelers.
As well as confirming a drive in an LMP3 LeMans Prototype recently, Randle also raced his father Dean’s 800hp SAAB Sports Sedan to third in the national championship in 2015, racing the likes of Jack Perkins and Tony Ricciardello.
“I am thoroughly excited to be racing on the streets of Adelaide in the Touring Car Masters,” Randle said.
“I’m really looking forward to hitting the circuit for the first time, and in a completely different car that I am used to, considering I was only racing in the TRS two weekends ago.
“I would personally like to thank Rusty French for giving me the opportunity to race his mustang, and I will be giving it plenty on the streets!”
Randle said he was looking forward to getting behind the wheel this weekend, having enjoyed a brief sample of the car during a test session last weekend.
“I had one test in it at Winton last weekend and everything went quite well, so it will be interesting to see how I fair against a lot of guys I grew up watching when I was a kid,” he said.
“..That being said, I will be trying to give them a run for their money.”
Though TCM fields are predominantly comprised of more experienced racers and legends of the sport, Randle isn’t alone in being a young-gun looking to use the category to gain some experience in high-horsepower cars – Adam Garwood, a Clipsal 500 race winner last year, another rising young talent in the category.
Cars hit the track this Thursday for practice, qualifying and the first of three races – all to be shown live on FOX Sports.
Selected races this weekend will also be broadcast on Network Ten.