Australian BRDC Rising Star Thomas Randle has shown exactly what he is capable of in the British LMP3 championship after posting the fastest lap time of the weekend (1.44.2) in race one, backing it up with the fastest lap time in race two. This secured Randle another Sunoco fastest pro driver of the weekend award.
The weekend started off with a one hour practice session where Randle went to the top of the charts with five minutes to go, only to be pipped to second position in the closing stages by Colin Noble who decided to go back out on new tyres.
Mike Newbould qualified the car in fifth position, and during the first race Mike was elevated to fourth after one of the United Autosport's cars struck trouble early on and had to retire. Randle took over the car at the half way point, and went on to set nine consecutive fastest laps in a row, and setting the fastest lap of the race at a 1.44.2 on the last lap, with his next quickest competitor lapping at a 1.45.3.
“I am really happy with my pace during the first race here at Snetterton. The car was fantastic and the boys at Douglas Motorsport have done a terrific job. It's great to be back in the LMP3 after a three month absence, and to be the quickest driver by over one second was unreal."
Sunday however was a bit more challenging. Mike qualified the car in fifth again, however on the warm up lap of the second race, he hit the pits with suspected vibrations which turned out to be a big lump of pick up on the right front tyre. Ten minutes before the pit window opened, and Mike pitted again, with suspected suspension problems. The car seemed okay so Randle took over the 72 machine early which ultimately lead to being served two drive through penalties (one for changing drivers before the pit window opened, and secondly for driving longer than 30 minutes) and falling six laps behind the leaders. However, Randle managed to keep unphased through all of this, to again consistently lap quicker than his nearest rivals by and set the fastest lap of the race by an astonishing 1.2 seconds.
"I thought I had just got lucky in race one, but to back it up again with another fastest lap, and actually increase the gap was unbelievable. The team did a splendid job all weekend and the car was a pleasure to drive. Its just a shame that we lost all that time in the pit stop, because we may have had a shot at a podium. Hopefully we can show this pace at the final round next month."
The final round of the British LMP3 Cup Championship will take place at Donington on the Grand Prix Circuit between the 15-17th of September.