Thomas Randle fulfills a lifelong dream this weekend when he begins his full-time career in the 2022 Supercars Championship.
The 25 year old admits to a combination of nerves and pride ahead of the season opening race at Sydney Motorsport Park.
“This has been my dream and my goal as long as I can remember to get an opportunity like this – so I just cannot wait to get in the car and get going,” Randle said.
“There have been moments this week already where I have to pinch myself that this is all actually happening – so I’m enormously thankful of everyone who has helped get me here and to be a part of the Tickford and Castrol family – now we have to prove we belong.”
The 2020 Super2 Champion has had to contend with more hurdles than most to fulfill his dream.
The past two years he’s had to battle testicular cancer – including multiple surgeries and chemotherapy to conquer the disease.
Cancer threatened to derail his racing – but for Randle, it did the opposite, making him more determined than ever to chase his goal.
“A lot of people are aware of my story and have been tremendous supporters over these past couple of years,” Randle said.
“The journey hasn’t been an easy one – but it’s made me stronger and more focused on what I want to do – and what I want to do is be racing in the premier touring car series in the world, which I get to do this year.”
Randle is part of Tickford Racing’s four-car Ford Mustang team alongside former series champion James Courtney, Cam Waters and Jake Kostecki.
He tested his car last week at Winton which has him optimistic of what can be achievable this weekend.
“This has been a long time coming – we announced the deal last June in Darwin so it’s been nine months leading up this moment,” Randle said.
“So much work goes into this whole operation – until you’re in the inner sanctum you just don’t realise how much effort goes in across the board back at Tickford HQ – from the boys and girls who build and prepare the cars, the engine shop, the designers, the sales team, even the guys who sort our merchandise – it’s a massive task to pull it all together.
“And the bonus for me is I get to race the magnificent green Castrol Mustang in the garage that has my name on it – I’m a lucky guy!”
Opening practice begins at Sydney Motorsport Park on Friday afternoon ahead of two 300 kilometre races across the weekend – the first on Saturday night, the second on Sunday afternoon.
Wild weather has been forecast with heavy rain set to fall.
“This opening race was supposed to be on the streets of Newcastle but COVID put paid to that, and now rain is going to make it absolutely wild out there – so we’re being tested ahead of our opening weekend!” Randle said.
“They are two super long races – so my focus is just to qualify well, I’d dearly love and my ultimate aim is to be in the top ten which will be a super challenge, and then it’s just about being smart come race time.
“I just want to make sure we finish, and we have a clean car, and then anything is possible over such long races – especially if the conditions are as difficult as the forecast suggests.
“I’d just like to thank Castrol and BP who have shown such enormous belief in me to back me this year at Tickford, plus my other supporters Herzog Steel, ACT Fence Hire, Infinium Advisory, Skye Sands, Gerald Slaven and DeVilbiss.
The weekend’s racing will be telecast on both the Seven Network and Fox Sports.
Practice 1: Fri 15:15
Practice 2: Fri 18:10
Qualifying 1: Sat 14:45
TTSO: Sat 16:30
Race 1 (77 Laps): Sat 19:10
Qualifying 2: Sun 10:50
TTSO: Sun 12:05
Race 2 (77 Laps): Sun 14:30