The opening round of the 2019 Dunlop Super2 Series saw Thomas Randle having to claw his way from the back after disaster in race one.
The 22-year-old Melbournian got the weekend off to a fantastic start on the opening day of proceedings, placing in the top two in both Super2 sessions, leading practice two on Thursday afternoon. Randle dealt with a rapidly quickening circuit, his fastest lap of practice two some two seconds quicker than his practice one lap.
On Friday morning, Randle qualified his Skye Sands Tickford Racing Ford FGX Falcon third on the grid, however his luck was about to change as Tom was punted out of race one of the Super2 season on the opening lap around the 3.22-kilometre circuit. Randle was hit heavily by another car in the turn four braking area, sending him spinning down the escape road, ripping off his rear wing and forcing his retirement from race one.
“It was pretty tricky off the start, with the pole being flipped and not much rubber down on Friday afternoon, so I struggled for grip, lost a spot to (Zane) Goddard, and my race lasted about ten more seconds. Heading into turn four I copped a big whack from Kurt Kostecki which sent me into a spin. It ripped the rear wing off and the front bar touched the wall, so it was a short race. It seems I can’t take a trick at the moment around Adelaide.”
After Friday’s race one in Super2 saw Thomas Randle knocked out of the race on the opening lap, Saturday brought relatively better fortunes as Randle picked up eight spots from his 17th place starting spot to finish ninth in a safety car ‘free’ race two.
“It was a really good recovery after yesterday’s race. I think the Skye Sands Tickford Racing Falcon had a lot of speed. To make up eight spots on the streets of Adelaide without any pit stops or Safety Cars, it certainly made it difficult, but I pushed as hard as I could. I made a move on Will Brown about five laps into the race and locked the inside front tyre pretty badly, so I was trying to make as many moves as I could while trying to nurse that tyre to the finish, so I think there’s definitely more pace in the car.”
Continuing his recovery effort from a DNF on Friday, Thomas Randle stormed from ninth to fourth in the opening laps of Super2 race three on Sunday, and held position to the chequered flag, marking his best race finish since Sandown in 2018.
“We were a tenth off the fastest race lap but overall the race pace, the car was really strong, if not the quickest in race pace. I knew I had to nail the start, which I did. I got one spot off the line, a couple through the staircase, then up to P4 at the hairpin. I really had my sights set on trying to run down third, but it was pretty difficult trying to claw back six or seven seconds with twelve laps to go. None the less, to come from P17 to one step off the podium in two races is phenomenal, and I can’t thank the team enough. We need to have another strong qualifying performance at Perth and keep our nose and tail clean.” After his race one DNF, Thomas Randle sits 11th in the Dunlop Super2 Series standings.
The second round of the 2019 Dunlop Super2 Series takes place at the newly resurfaced Barbagallo Raceway in Perth on the 3-5 of May.