In just his third outing in the highly-competitive Formula Renault Eurocup Championship, Australian 21-year-old Thomas Randle claimed fourth place overall at Austria's Red Bull Ring last weekend, having scored a fourth place finish in race one on Saturday, then backing it up with a more than competitive sixth position on Sunday.
Randle was again the highest placed qualifier of the five-strong Australian contingent, and the only one to score points after a pair of thoroughly entertaining races that saw a warring battle group racing wheel to wheel throughout the pair of 25-minute, plus one lap events.
The Red Bull Ring, which was the scene of Austrian Formula 1 Grand Prix earlier this month, is located in the Styrian Mountains, near Spielberg while the undulating high-altitude circuit measures 4.318 kilometres, and Randle took to it like a duck to water by claiming a pair of seventh place qualifying results.
Race one saw a strong start before the reigning Toyota Racing Series Champion became embroiled in a spirited battle pack, making a decisive move that saw the Melbourne born driver passing three cars during the space of two corners while running wheel-to-wheel at high-speed. A resounding fourth place at the chequered flag saw Randle claiming his career-best finish since making his debut in the category just three weeks ago.
Sunday's race was impacted by a pair of Safety Car periods, limiting the number of 'green' racing laps, but this did little to upset Randle's strong form as he made a pair of strong re-starts to apply pressure to the leading group. With yet more side-by-side running, Randle drove his AVF/Skye Sands machine with great verve and up into sixth place, having survived contact while running three-wide in a lively last lap battle.
"What a great weekend. We had a strong car from the outset and the Red Bull Ring is just fantastic to race on. It's so wide and offers a number of racing lines that allow you to set-up and attack those around you, and it was some of the best racing I've been involved in.
"Every lap was just push push push and with so many places where a driver can make a lunge you almost needed eyes in the back of your head. It was full attack while covering within the spirit of the rules, although a couple of drivers were overly defensive on occasion, but that's just how intense it is.
"The Sunday race was great fun and it was just on for young and old while running really close to each other, which makes the overall result very satisfying. I wish we had another race to be honest."
"The guys in the AVF team have been great. We're really starting to gel and we're all looking forward to the remaining three rounds, two of which are on tracks I have been to previously, so I'm hoping to keep up the strong form."
Randle's next Formula Renault Eurocup outing will take place at the championship's eighth round, which will be held at Le Castellet's Paul Ricard circuit in France on August 25-27, and will again support the European Le Mans Championship.