Rising Supercar racer Thomas Randle has been recognised with a highly sought after international award for his bravery in racing on despite battling cancer.
Randle has been awarded the prestigious Innes Ireland Trophy by the British Racing Drivers’ Club – for displaying qualities of courage and sportsmanship epitomised by the former BRDC President.
The 24 year old from Melbourne shares the award with Dr Ian Roberts – the FIA F1 Medical Doctor who bravely helped Romain Grosjean escape his horrifying accident at the Bahrain Grand Prix in late November.
“To be honest, I’ve been lost for words ever since I received an email from the BRDC President David Coulthard,” Randle said.
“To be recognised internationally is such an honour – and I’m thrilled to be able to accept it after the rollercoaster year my family and I have had.”
Coulthard praised Randle for being able to win the Super2 championship, despite battling testicular cancer at the start of the year.
“When you got your cancer diagnosis in January, everything in your life would have been turned upside down, including your racing plans,” Coulthard said.
“With the most incredible amount of determination, you managed to keep racing and sustain your challenge for the Dunlop Super2 series title amongst your various medical treatments and procedures.
“To have won the championship, while keeping a smile on your face throughout the season, it is a fantastic achievement and there is no doubt that the late Innes Ireland would totally agree that you are a worthy recipient of this award in his memory.”
The late Innes Ireland was a British Formula One driver who was badly injured in the 1961 Monaco Grand Prix. He recovered to win three GPs that season.
Former winners of the Innes Ireland Trophy include Sir Stirling Moss, Mark Webber, Alex Zanardi and Daniel Ricciardo.
“When he listed those previous winners – it’s a pinch me moment – and I’m thrilled that the sport of Supercars in Australia has been recognised,” Randle said.
“It’s been a horrible year for everyone – but we’ve had a rough one with the cancer diagnosis at the start of the year and everything that followed, I mean back then we weren’t sure I’d even be able to race, let alone win the Super2 championship.”
Randle won the COVID shortened Super2 series – the development category underneath the Supercars championship.
Randle has been part of the British Racing Drivers Club Rising Star program since his campaign in British Formula 3 in 2016 where he scored one pole position (Silverstone) and two wins (Spa Francorchamps and Rockingham).