The Supercars dream is burning brighter than ever for Thomas Randle as he prepares for a three-race Wildcard run through the back end of the 2021 championship.
After missing full-time slot this year during the downsizing at Tickford Racing, Randle intends to go all-out to ensure he makes the main game in 2022.
His weapon is the Ford Mustang that he and Lee Holdsworth shared for third place in the Sandown 500 of 2019 and the big backing for the program comes from Castrol.
“I’m stoked. It’s really damn cool,” Randle told Race News.
“It’s a great program. And it’s phenomenal to be partnered with Castrol because Supercars needs a Castrol car. As long as I’ve been growing up, there has been a Castrol car on the grid.
“Because Tickford had to downscale, they had the car sitting there and ready to go. It’s worked out quite well.”
Randle was already racing through a busy year with S5000 single-seater starts but is now laser focussed on the Wildcard program, which starts with a test at Winton next week.
“I’ve already raced the car so that’s good. And it looks great.”
His three starts will be at The Bend in May, followed by Darwin in June and Perth in September, before he switches to co-driving duties at the Bathurst 1000 – most likely alongside James Courtney.
Randle knows he has a solid group of backers, led by Tickford part-owner Rusty French and including Angelo Turcin of ACT Fence Hire and Hertzog Steel, and admitted he was hit hard when he was bypassed for a full-time ride at the start of the year.
“It would have been nice to have been on the grid full-time, but there were factors that were out of my control. It’s hard to get angry over things you can’t control. And this is the next best thing.
“We’re doing the best three we can. To be back in this expanded role is fantastic. And because it’s strewn over five months I’ll feel like I’m part of the championship for longer.
“It’s like an April to September journey. So that’s two thirds of the length of the championship.”
Randle has run a wildcard once before at The Bend and has set the bar high for his first start in the Castrol Mustang.
”I’m sort-of going into it round-by-round. My ultimate goal for Tailem Bend is the Top 10.
“Darwin? I’ve never raced there before. I’m just happy I’ll be learning that circuit as a wildcard driver, so when I get to be a full-time driver I’ll know it.”
And then there is the longer-term target.
“This is the perfect way to get ready for the 1000 in October. And then when, of if, I get into the Main Game I’ll have had the best possible preparation and training.”