MORE POINTS FOR RANDLE AS LEADING AUSSIE AT THE NURBURGRING

July 17, 2017

Contesting just his second outing in the ultra-competitive Formula Renault Eurocup at Germany's famous Nurburgring Circuit last weekend, 21-year-old Thomas Randle scored his second points haul to finish the weekend as the highest placed Australian in the 31-car field.


With no testing forming part of the Nurburgring weekend - run in conjunction with the World Endurance Championship event - Randle had just two 40-minute practice sessions to acclimatise to the 5.14-kilometre circuit, impressing early on Friday, posting the sixth fastest time in opening practice.


Qualifying saw the reigning Toyota Racing Series champion, claiming fourth and fifth quickest times in his group, resulting in an overall starting position of ninth and 10th.


Race one was held in dry conditions over 25-minutes plus one lap, with Randle claiming an 11th place result after having to take evasive action to avoid an early incident, damaging his front wing endplate and losing vital front grip as a result.


Sunday's race was held in torrential rain, and impacted by multiple Safety Car periods. With just six racing laps completed over the timed distance, Randle rose to as high as eighth position before sliding wide with half a lap remaining to come home in ninth place at the chequered flag, claiming two more championship points by doing so and finishing fourth of the rookie drivers.


"The weekend was tough, and I was really pleased with Friday's first practice session on yet another new track, and one that I really enjoyed driving on. We had a suspension issue in the second practice session which hurt our green tyre learning and I think that worked against us a little in qualifying, but making the top-10 in both sessions was still a solid result.


"The first race was going well and I made a strong start, but two cars came together right in front of me and I had to slam on the brakes to avoid making heavy contact with them, and I damaged my front wing endplate as a result. On a track that is so aero dependent the damage hurt my car speed over the remainder of the race and I faded out of a points finishing position.


"Sunday's race was one of the toughest I have ever experienced with blinding spray and standing water in so many places. My tyres pressures took a while to come up and that hurt me early but then the car really came on and I could run with the guys from position four back to me.

 

I was happy to claim ninth at the end, but was kicking myself for running too deep into the hairpin on the final lap. I actually braked earlier than usual knowing I had nobody too close behind, but hit a patch of water and the car just wouldn't pull up. It was all good learning though and it's great knowing we are racing again this coming weekend in Austria."


Randle's next Formula Renault Eurocup outing will take place at the championship's seventh round, which will be held at Austria's Red Bull Ring - near Spielberg - in conjunction with the European Le Mans Championship during the weekend of July 21-23.

 

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© 2019 by Thomas Randle

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