Thomas Randle is hoping for a change of luck when Supercars stages one of its headline acts this weekend, on the streets of Townsville in far north Queensland.
After a tough previous round results wise at Darwin, Randle is pinning his hopes on a test day at Tailem Bend that he says has him “really optimistic” his fortunes can change.
“It was a mega test day at the Bend – everything worked incredibly well and the improvements we made to the car were all really positive,” Randle said.
“It’s left us really optimistic that we have hopefully turned the corner in time for the trip to Townsville.
“In addition to a bit more pace and some better qualifying from my behalf – we need a bit of luck to help us in the run, and I hope that brings with it some better results.”
Randle and his Tickford Racing team have pinpointed qualifying to help ensure he starts out of the middle or back of the pack for race starts – which caused his undoing last start in the Northern Territory.
“I just have to qualify better – and that’s on me to get right,” Randle said.
“It’s a lottery when you’re starting down the back – as we found out the hard way in Darwin – the opening two races were destroyed for us with opening lap incidents, so we just have to get ourselves out of that mess.”
Randle was consistent with his qualifying at Hidden Valley – he qualified 14th on the seventh row of the grid for all three sessions.
But his results were disappointing – with a 19th, a DNF and a 15th from the three races.
“I feel like I’m saying this a bit – but anyone who knows me knows well that these results aren’t anywhere near where I want them to be,” Randle said.
“We had some good events leading into Darwin where our results were slowly improving, so we just need to keep tracking along with that progression.
“It’s been a steep learning curve in the first half of the year in my debut full time season, but we’re confident after our test in South Australia we are on the right path – and I hope that shows this weekend.
“Townsville is a great event – it’s a huge one for the sport, it gets a massive crowd, and the weather is awesome – plus we’re on Channel Seven and Fox, so I will be doing my best to get the Castrol Racing Mustang up the pointy end of the field.”
Opening practice begins for the Townsville 500 on Friday ahead of two 250 kilometre races across the weekend.
“I’d like to thank Castrol and BP for their continued support, plus Herzog Steel, ACT Fence Hire, Infinium Advisory, Gerald Slaven and DeVilbiss – I’d love to deliver a great result for them,” Randle said.
“It’s been a fun week – I made my debut on AFL 360 last night on Fox Footy with my good mate, Richmond legend Jack Riewoldt to promote the coverage – so it’s been nice to do some media pre event.”
A bumper crowd is expected trackside with perfect weather forecast across the three days of the event.
All of the action is live on Network Seven and Fox Sports.
Practice 1: Fri 10:10
Practice 2: Fri 14:50
Qualifying Race 19: Sat 9:50
Top 10 Shootout: Sat 12:00
Race 19 (88 Laps): Sat 14:45
Qualifying Race 20: Sun 10:10
Top 10 Shootout: Sun 12:00
Race 20 (88 Laps): Sun 14:45