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Randle ‘ready’ for full-time Supercars drive in 2021

Simon Chapman

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Thursday 17th September, 2020 - 6:00am

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Thomas Randle (right) claimed third in his first Sandown 500 with Lee Holdsworth (left)

Dunlop Super2 Series points leader Thomas Randle believes he is ready to make the step up to Supercars full-time in 2021 and has discussed options with teams.

Randle has made it no secret that he would like to move up into the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship ranks.

The Mike Kable Young Gun Award winner finished 11th in his maiden Super2 Series season with Tickford Racing in 2018 and was third a year later with the Campbellfield-based team.

The 24-year-old made a Supercars wildcard appearance in 2019 at The Bend Motorsport Park and went on to partner Lee Holdsworth in the Pirtek Enduro Cup.

It was with Holdsworth and Tickford Racing that he claimed his maiden podium, finishing third in the Sandown 500.

Randle had hoped to make a move to full-time Supercars competition in 2020, but opportunities weren’t forthcoming.

Ultimately, the Melbourne-based driver opted for a third season of the Super2 Series with MW Motorsport, which he currently leads.

Speaking with Speedcafe.com, Randle said he’s aiming to make the move up in 2021.

“It’s definitely 2021 is when I’m wanting to make the step up,” said Randle.

“I was pushing to try and be in the main game this year, but things just didn’t pan out.

“In a way, it was probably a good thing that it didn’t happen this year as much as I wanted it to happen.

“I’m definitely pushing to get in the main series next year.”

Randle said he has had “a couple of discussions” with teams this year but as yet hasn’t cemented any plans beyond 2020.

Part of his push to get on the grid, he said, will be aided once a new television deal is locked in and the 2021 calendar is announced.

It’s is expected subscription-based broadcaster Fox Sports will be retained while the Seven Network will take over the free-to-air broadcasting rights.

Both major items are expected to be announced around this year’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

“Obviously one of the biggest hurdles is the monetary hurdle,” said Randle.

“I’ve got to try to cross all the T’s and dot all the I’s. I need to really find out what the calendar is going to look like, what the TV deal is going to look like, and do all these things in order first.

“It’s where I want to be. It’s where I’ve wanted to be a long time and I feel like I’m ready, but there’s a lot of other factors that need to go our way for that to happen.

“Never say never. I’ve got to be optimistic. But there’s nothing locked in.

“The only things that are locked in for me are driving the Bentley this weekend and driving at Bathurst. Those are the only two things locked in for me.”

In what has been a disrupted Super2 season due to the coronavirus pandemic, Randle has finished no worse than second in the five races held to date.

Randle came out of the season-opening Adelaide 500 with two second place finishes and a win, which he backed up with a second place and a win at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Despite uncertainties surrounding the remainder of the 2020 season, Randle said he’s upbeat about the future and believes his performances so far are justification of his ability.

“I feel like I’m ready,” said Randle.

“I just try to do everything I could right this year. It’s been great working with the team at Matt White.

“The Super2 car has been awesome to drive. I really hope I get to drive it at Bathurst.

“Either way, I’m just happy that I’ll be on the grid Bathurst 1000 and to be teaming up with Nick (Percat) is going to be certainly awesome.”

Randle’s next competitive outing will be in the Aussie Tin Tops at The Bend Motorsport Park on September 19-20.

He’ll then contest the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 alongside Brad Jones Racing driver Nick Percat on October 15-18.

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