Thomas Randle has helped star Richmond forward Jack Riewoldt live a sporting dream, playing mentor for the Tiger in the Supercars All Stars Eseries celebrity race.
Riewoldt and Randle struck up a strong friendship over the past month as they prepared and trained for Monday night’s race at the Dream Simulation headquarters in Dandenong.
“I won’t lie – it was a huge buzz having Jack down here and to help him was a great thing for me to be able to,” Randle said on his involvement with Jack.
“He’s a bona fide superstar in AFL – he’s just won a second premiership, he’s won three Coleman Medals, a couple of best and fairests, he’s one of the biggest names in the sport – and to see him so into our sport, it was a really cool thing to have him here.”
Unfortunately despite high hopes and after many hours on the Randle family owned Dream Simulator, Riewoldt’s night in the celebrity event was a difficult one.
“It was a tough pill to swallow – I sucked in qualifying, I got crashed into in race one, and I was on for a top five in race two until I was crashed into on the final lap,” Riewoldt said as he reviewed his experience at Mount Panorama.
“I was shattered afterwards, no joke – it was as brutal as any AFL loss I’ve had, because I was so desperate to do well and had done the training and had such high hopes and it didn’t really play out that way at all.”
In the end, Riewoldt qualified 17th, and finished the two races in 21st and 12th place. John Steffenson and Scott Pedder won the two celebrity races. But despite his result, Riewoldt was full of praise for Randle and his facility.
“I had so much fun, it was such a buzz, to learn and be coached by Thomas, to see my results improve over our practice sessions was so good,” Riewoldt said.
“To go from my first night when I crashed coming out of pitlane to then get to the point that I was comfortable racing across the top of the mountain – it was a really great thing to do, I’m hooked!”
“The Dream Simulator is just brilliant – as good as any theme part ride you could go on – I’ll definitely be bugging Tom to be back again soon!”
Riewoldt has become a Supercars fan through a friendship with the sport’s biggest name, Scott McLaughlin. Together the pair have a podcast, Balls and Bumpers. But now the fight is on for who is Jack’s favourite.
“Scott gives me nothing but grief and all he’s done is sledge me before, during and after the celebrity race,” Riewoldt joked.
“But Thomas is my new favourite – he’s been there every step of the way and I can’t wait to now follow his career on the track – I just hope he can get out there again soon in the Super 2 field!”
Next for Riewoldt is a return to the footy field, with the AFL season to resume on June 11.
To hire Thomas Randle’s simulator and have either he or Supercars veteran Lee Holdsworth help assist your session, bookings are being taken now at www.dreamsimulation.com.au.