Having never previously seen the Barbagallo circuit before, Super2 rookie Thomas Randle had the best weekend of his young career starting on Saturday, which began with him claiming his first career Super2 Series pole and ended with his best finish of 2018. The 22-year old qualified seventh for Race 7 of the Super2 season on Saturday morning after getting held up in qualifying, and immediately followed it by posting the fastest lap in Race 8 qualifying. After dropping one spot at the start of Race 7, Randle picked up two in the closing stages to claim P6 on the afternoon.
“A very awesome day today, I didn’t expect that when I woke up this morning. The Skye Sands Falcon was amazing to drive. I got a bit held up in Q1 on our first flying lap, and around Barbagallo it’s just one lap you get on the tyres, so that hurt us. We decided to sit out the first half of qualifying 2 and join the pack at the end on our new tyres. I was told (Paul) Dumbrell had done a 56.8 and we’d target a 57.0, and I managed to do a 56.8. I didn’t even know we got pole until I got back to the garage. It’s a credit to the boys from Tickford Racing, and it’s nice to get my first pole around a track I had never driven around before Friday. I didn’t expect pole so early in the season, but now we’ve just got to keep it in that spot for the race on Sunday morning.
The race itself was pretty good. I didn’t get the best start so I lost a spot early, but in the end I was able to make up a couple positions and finish ahead of my starting spot, which you always want to do. More importantly, I learned a lot about how the tyre degrades around here, which is really good to know for tomorrow. If I can have a good start and keep the lead, that knowledge should help me manage the car better over the run, so we’ll see how we go.”
On Sunday, Randle, who started from pole in the first Super2 race of the day on a damp track, finished second to take his first podium of his young career.
Randle followed that up by finishing sixth from second starting position in Race 9 of 2018, which scored him enough points to secure third place on the round.
Despite scoring zero points in Adelaide after a mechanical failure saw him DNF Race 1 and not participate in Races 2 or 3, the 22-year old now sits 11th in Super2 points at the championship’s halfway mark.
"I didn’t really expect this, especially after Friday…Race 2, I didn’t get the best start, but Paul (Dumbrell) had the legs on me for sure, so just to maintain second was good. The last race was probably the most fun race of the weekend, I had that many battles. The rain during the race, the rain before the start of the race, I didn’t know what was going to happen because I’ve never driven this car in the wet before. To come away with third on the round, I didn’t expect it, and wouldn’t have asked for more."
Race 7 Quali: 7th Race 8 Quali: 1st Race 7 Finish: 6th Race 8 Finish: 2nd Race 9 Finish: 6th Round 3 Finish: 3rd
The Dunlop Super2 Series returns to action two months from now on the streets of Townsville, July 6-8.