Randle soars to S5000 pole in Tasmania

Thomas Randle. Picture: Australian Racing Group

Thomas Randle has delivered a stunning performance on return from testicular cancer treatment to clinch the first pole of the 2021 VHT S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship.

Having seen fellow Supercars co-driver James Golding take the honours in Sunday practice, it was Randle who starred when it counted.

In all, Randle’s late 49.5995 put him 0.2427s clear of the field, with Team BRM stablemate Joey Mawson his closest competitor.

“This is going to be awesome. We were really hoping for a front-row start,” said a delighted Randle.

Golding had held the lead at the halfway point of the 20-minute session at Symmons Plains before Randle went to the top moments later and improved further the very next lap, with Mawson now in second.

That would form the pecking order as red flags put a halt on proceedings for almost six minutes, due to Antonio Astuti’s entry grinding to a halt on pit straight.

Action would resume with just under three minutes left on the clock – still allowing multiple flying laps given the short Symmons Plains layout.

The field headed out in search of late improvements, with Mawson closing the gap before Randle went quicker again to comfortably clinch pole in his first event since undergoing surgery and chemotherapy late last year.

Randle celebrates pole with his team. Picture: Australian Racing Group

Mawson’s final flyer was brought unstuck by a minor off but he hung on to complete a front row lockout for Team BRM.

Golding and GRM team-mate Nathan Herne will share the second row of the grid, with Ricky Capo completing a top five separated by less than half a second.

Astuti kept 10th despite his drama, with Braydan Willmington to start from the back.

Results: Qualifying

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Fastest lap Split
1 49 ALABAR/FORM700 Team BRM Thomas Randle 0:49.5995
2 27 ALABAR/FORM700 Team BRM Joey Mawson 0:49.8422 0:00.2427
3 31 Team Valvoline GRM James Golding 0:49.8734 0:00.2739
4 29 Team Valvoline GRM Nathan Herne 0:50.0793 0:00.4798
5 92 Modena Engineering Ricky Capo 0:50.0934 0:00.4939
6 96 Garry Rogers Motorsport Luis Leeds 0:50.2442 0:00.6427
7 23 UCS Group Racing TMR Tim Macrow 0:50.2435 0:00.6440
8 88 ACMFinance.com Racing Cooper Webster 0:50.7302 0:01.1307
9 16 SCT Logistics Team BRM Tommy Smith 0:50.8504 0:01.2509
10 39 Yellow Tail Astuti Motorsport Antonio Astuti 0:51.2271 0:01.6276
11 89 Willmington Racing Braydan Willmington 0:52.0333 0:02.4338

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