Super2 ace joins S5000 grid at The Bend
By Tom Howard
Tuesday 12th November, 2019 - 6:00am
Supercars young gun Thomas Randle will return to his single seater roots after landing an S5000 drive at The Bend Motorsport Park this weekend.
Fresh from finishing third in the Penrite Oil Sandown 500, the Tickford Racing co-driver will pilot a Penrite backed Team BRM prepared V8 powered S5000 single seater.
While the 23-year-old Super2 driver is currently carving out a career in touring cars, the Victorian has proven himself in open wheel racing.
Randle won the 2014 Australian Formula Ford Series and finished runner-up in Australian Formula 4 a year later, before heading to Europe to race in the BRDC British Formula 3 Championship.
Arguably his most impressive feat was winning the 2017 Toyota Racing Series prior to heading back to Australia to focus on a Supercars career.
Randle is no stranger to The Bend having starred there earlier in the year when he made his Supercars Championship debut driving the wildcard Scandia Racing Ford Mustang.
However, this weekend poses a new challenge which he is relishing.
“I can’t wait to get back to my single-seater roots this weekend,” said Randle.
“It’s been over two years since I’ve been in an open wheel car and driving with the halo head protection will be something new and interesting.
“I watched the S5000 races at Sandown with great interest having worked closely with Rubens Barrichello, who used our simulator to learn the nuances of the Sandown Park Circuit and the show was impressive.
“I’m looking forward to teaming up with BRM who, over the years have actually been on-track rivals of mine, and more importantly having Marcus Koch engineer my #49 machine.
“I actually lived with Marcus when I was competing in Europe and we enjoyed a strong working relationship in F3.
“The cars look like real beasts yet fun to drive at the same time, but I’m confident I will be able to acclimatise to them quite quickly.
“Although I’m absolutely not underestimating the challenge in front of me, or the fact that some drivers have already experienced a full race weekend behind the wheel of the S5000 cars.”
Randle will get his first taste of the S5000 racer at The Bend on Thursday in an extra test day for a number of competitors.
This will be followed by two practice sessions on Friday, Qualifying and Race 1 on Saturday and another heat on Sunday morning, ahead of the all-important feature race on Sunday afternoon.