Rising Supercars racer Thomas Randle has shown great promise in his main game debut in the BP Supercars All Stars eSeries event at the sport’s holy grail, Bathurst.
Granted a wildcard start for Round 3 of the virtual championship, the 24-year-old was a constant in the top ten throughout Wednesday evening’s event.
The highlight for the Super 2 championship contender came before the racing even began, when he qualified for the top ten shootout.
“Without a doubt making the shootout was my favourite part of the night,” Randle said when reflecting on his virtual Mount Panorama experience.
“Unfortunately, my shootout lap wasn’t one of my best laps whatsoever, but just to qualify in the ten justified the amount of work I’d put in leading up to the race.”
Randle finished the shootout ninth, sharing the fifth row of the grid with WAU driver Bryce Fullwood.
He finished the opening race a stunning fourth, which was won by leading Supercar star Shane van Gisbergen.
The reverse grid second race was marred by a drive-thru penalty following contact against van Gisbergen atop the mountain on Brock’s Skyline, which saw Randle finish 17th.
“Apparently I hit SVG – but on my screen I didn’t make contact with him which is frustrating,” Randle said. “I apologised afterwards to him and he was fine with it, sometimes the lag with him racing from New Zealand and me in Melbourne means that the gap between the other car can be a lot closer than what I’m seeing on my screen.”
Randle made his way up from 17th in the feature third race to finish a fine seventh.
“I know the objective of the All Stars eSeries is to have fun, but I put the hours on the sim in to be as competitive as possible,” Randle said.
“I wanted to represent my sponsors the best I could, and to prove that I did belong out there – and I think I was able to do that. We were fourth quickest in all three of the races, so I think it was safe to say it was a reasonably successful evening.”
“To get a wildcard opportunity was awesome, and I’m hoping I’ll be invited back before long!”
The following night Randle took part in the fourth round of the Carsales ARG eSport Cup, racing single seater Formula 3 cars at the famous Italian Monza circuit.
He qualified sixth but was caught up in a monster collision at the famous turn one – relegating him to a 17th placed finish. Randle bounced back in the reverse grid race – figuring at the front for much of the race before a late spin at the second chicane relegated him to fifth.
“The results were obviously marred by the pile up on turn one of the opening race, which left us chasing out tail for the rest of the night,” Randle said.
“I’m a lucky boy to be racing in these series – and I have to thank my brilliant bunch of supporters – from Skye Sands, Form 700, Alabar, ACT Fence Hire, DeVibiss and Global Machinery – they are not only sponsors but great people and great friends.”
“And I must say I’m having a ball playing on the Dream Simulator – it’s our new simulator in Dandenong and it’s a serious bit of kit – it’s open for business so anyone can come on down and have a try, you won’t regret it.”
To hire Thomas Randle’s simulator, bookings are being taken now at www.dreamsimulation.com.au.
Randle is next racing across the weekend in the virtual edition of the Nurburgring 24 Hour in a BMW Z4 GT3, which begins late Saturday night Australian time. He will be teaming up with Mercedes F1 reserve driver Esteban Gutierrez, Williams F1 Reserve driver Jack Aitken and Jack’s brother Max Aitken.