Thomas Randle survived a wet and wild and incredibly difficult weekend of racing in the ninth round of the 2021 Supercars Championship at Sydney Motorsport Park.
It was the third Wildcard round of the year for the reigning Super2 Champion – and clearly the most difficult in the trying circumstances.
“That was a fun and chaotic AND incredibly difficult weekend,” Randle said.
“We knew it was going to be challenging – I mean everyone had raced at the same venue the weekend before, so it was difficult to join the racing cold after months out of the car.
“And then the rain on Sunday night under lights was one of the most difficult yet enjoyable experiences I’ve encountered in my racing career.”
Randle’s Tickford Racing team fared better than the weekend prior – with promising results, highlighted by a podium finish for James Courtney on Sunday afternoon – the car Randle will share in next month’s Bathurst 1000.
“All four of our cars progressed enormously across the weekend – you only have to look at James’ podium on Sunday in the Boost Mobile Mustang to see that,” Randle explained.
“We were consistently on the pace which I’m pleased with – we qualified 17th, 14th and 14th.
“On paper it wasn’t as good as our Wildcard runs at Tailem Bend and Darwin earlier this year, but we finished the weekend with some good speed and without a scratch on the Mustang, and now for me, my focus moves to Mount Panorama.”
Randle posted results of 22nd, 15th and 16th across the three races in his Castrol backed Mustang.
“Sunday morning’s qualifying was disappointing – we got caught out by a red flag which left us starting much lower down the grid than where we should have been,” Randle said.
“Sunday afternoon was our cleanest run and I was happy to be 15th and I thought it was going to set us up for a great final race – the feature Sunday night race under lights.
“But we got caught up in a small lap one incident and a had to pit for a puncture which had us chasing our tail.
“And then the rain was as intense as I can remember – the conditions were just appalling, running in heavy rain is difficult in the day when visibility is OK, but under lights it was just so difficult.”
“We’re all racers and would have loved for the race to have run full distance – but in the end it was the best call by the stewards – so to be 16th was decent in the conditions after our rocky start.”
With his Wildcard commitments over, Randle now turns his attention to the biggest race on the Australian motorsport calendar, the Bathurst 1000 – where he will partner former series champion, James Courtney in the Boost Mobile Ford Mustang.
“It will just be a huge buzz to get Mount Panorama with a guy who we know is capable of winning big races and have a serious shot at the event we all crave,” Randle said.
“Tickford is a team that has won championships and won Bathurst before – so I can’t wait to get in my Boost suit for December 5!”
“I’m lucky to have such great support from friends and family, and wonderful supporters including Castrol and Boost, plus ACT Fence Hire, Herzog Steel, Tradie, and Ryco who have made all of this possible – I hope I can do them all justice at the mountain.”
The Supercars Championship resumes this weekend for the third straight round at Sydney Motorsport Park.