It’s the dream he’s wanted and waited a long time for – and on Friday it became a reality for Thomas Randle.
The confirmation of a full-time drive in the Supercars Championship.
“It’s a dream really, something I have worked at for such a long time – so it’s still sinking in,” Randle said.
“Even now – a few days on from the announcement I’m still smiling thinking about it – it doesn’t always happen that your dreams come true, so I’m enormously appreciative of the deal.”
On the eve of last weekend’s fifth round of the Supercars Championship at Darwin’s Hidden Valley, Randle was named one of Tickford Racing’s four drivers for the 2022 season.
The 25 year old reigning Super2 Champion had been longing for the drive since joining the team in 2018.
“This is the hardest step to take on the motorsport ladder – to go from the support category to the main game, and for a while there it was a slog and it was a wait – and racing car drivers aren’t very patient by nature,” Randle said.
“I won’t lie, l am pretty relieved it’s finally going to happen – it’s brilliant to have it announced so early – and I have to thank Tim Edwards and the awesome team at Tickford for trusting me to drive one of their four mustangs in 2022.
“This wouldn’t be possible without the support I’ve received from my family, my friends and the people who have backed me and helped me throughout my journey – it’s a big moment for all of us.”
Randle validated the news with another impressive run as a wildcard entry in the weekend’s Supercar action in the top end.
He backed up his eye catching top ten finish in his opening Wildcard start last month at Tailem Bend, with another top ten finish – in Saturday’s opening race in searing temperatures at Hidden Valley.
He continued his good form with an 11th place finish in Sunday’s race three – including a great passing move into turn 1.
“It was definitely a positive weekend for the Castrol Ford Mustang team – we ticked a lot of boxes and grabbed another top ten which was our ultimate goal, and finished the weekend 13th considering out second race dramas, which is solid,” Randle explained.
“On the passing move – I made a silly mistake in the last corner which cost me the spot to Anton De Pasquale so I was a bit hot under the collar!
“I summoned some energy from Daniel Ricciardo and threw the car down the inside in a late braking effort to pass him back at turn one – and it worked!
“To get the spot back and land the move – especially on a DJR Ford – was hugely satisfying and it was cool to see the response from people in pitlane and on social media afterwards!”
Randle completed the weekend’s three races with finishes of ninth, 25th and 11th to finish the weekend 13th overall.
Randle’s next Wildcard appearance with the team comes in September at Perth’s much anticipated SuperNight event.
He then turns his attention to co-driving for Tickford Racing at the sport’s holy grail, October’s Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama.
“I’m loving every step of the journey right now – Darwin and the Bend were an absolute buzz, and now I can’t wait for Perth, especially racing under lights,” Randle said.
“I also have to thank the team at ACT Fence Hire and Herzog Steel for all of their support in getting this program running – including Tradie, Skye Sands and Ryco Filters.”