Thomas Randle to contest The Bend in S5000
Dunlop Super2 front-runner and Tickford Racing (Bottle-O Racing) co-driver, Thomas Randle will contest this weekend’s S5000 races at South Australia’s Tailem Bend circuit.
23-year-old Randle, who has an extensive career in open wheelers, will join a group of Australia’s finest young stars when he takes to the track, which is expected to suit the recently debuted high-powered S5000 category.
Fresh from scoring a podium finish at last weekend’s Sandown 500, the former Australian Formula Ford Champion – who has raced extensively in Formula 3 in the United Kingdom and Europe – is also the only Australia to have won the ultra-competitive Toyota Racing Series (TRS) title, which he claimed in 2017 against a field that included an number of Formula 1 development drivers.
Randle is no stranger to the 4.9-kilometre circuit having starred there earlier in the year when he made his Supercars championship debut driving the Scandia Racing Ford Mustang, dominating the co-driver session before enjoying a strong run to 14th place overall for the round.
BRM will field the entry for Randle, which will see the BRDC Rising Star enjoy a test day on Thursday before practice on Friday ahead of three races over the course of the weekend.
An excited Randle is eagerly awaiting his return to the ranks of fast open-wheelers and looking forward to mixing it at the front of the field.
“I can’t wait to get back to my single-seater roots this weekend. 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 Barichello, who used our simulator to learned 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.
“We very nearly contested the opening event but ran out of time to pull a deal together, and now we have the support of Penrite Oils, Scandia, DeVilbiss and Skye Sands behind us to compete this weekend I really want to be able to put on a competitive showing in recognition of their valuable support.”
Randle will get his first taste of the S5000 racer at The Bend on Thursday in a special 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 short race on Sunday morning, ahead of the all-important feature race on Sunday afternoon.
Saturday’s race and Sunday’s feature race will be broadcast live, free and in HD on SBS, as well as livestream around the world on the S5000 website.
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