Reigning Super2 champion Thomas Randle has begun the countdown to his Supers wildcard appearance with a marathon test day at Winton.
Randle took the covers off his Castrol Ford Mustang, as he hit the track with his Tickford Racing squad, a fortnight out from his Tailem Bend return.
“It’s been a while since I had a full day in the car – so it was nice to dust the cobwebs off early and then get cracking with the team,” Randle said.
“The car looks amazing with the new Castrol livery, and it goes great – it was an absolute pleasure to drive.”
Randle has landed a three race Supercar wildcard appearance at the Tailem Bend, Darwin and Perth rounds of the championship, ahead of his co-driving duties at the Bathurst 1000 in October.
Tickford’s leading championship contender, Cam Waters, was on hand to help Randle get up to speed in the Mustang.
“Cam did a few laps in the morning to show what the car was capable of – and I’m thankful for his support and guidance – he didn’t need to come up, but he chose to which I was enormously appreciative of,” Randle said.
“It was nice to compare notes and then compare lap times with what he was able to punch out – it feels like we were definitely on the right track with our progress.”
“It’s a car I know reasonably well – it’s the same car Lee Holdsworth and I finished third in a couple of years ago at the Sandown 500 – so it has fond memories!”
After nearly eight hours of running, Randle and his engineer, Raymond Lau, were content with where they stand two weeks out from racing in the main series.
“I don’t want to rock up to Tailem Bend and waste the opening practice session – I want to be on it straight away – and today helped get us ready to be in the best spot we can be,” Randle said.
“My engineer and I are talking the same language, and here’s hoping we’ve ticked the boxes and we’re ready to go when we get to the Bend – it’s a great opportunity for us.”
“I just couldn’t be more thankful to Castrol, ACT Fence Hire and Herzog Steel who are helping support the program, as well as the guys and girls at Tickford who worked their tails off all day to make sure it went as smoothly as possible.”
Before his Supercars return, Randle will next week contest the final round of the VHT S5000 Australian Driver’s Championship in Sydney – where he trails series leader Joey Mawson by 40 points.
Then Randle heads for Tailem Bend the week after for the two day OTR SuperSprint, which begins on May 8.