Australia’s own Thomas Randle motor sport season is going from strength-to-strength as he makes his mark on the international stage.
The former CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship driver said driving in Europe had been a real eye-opener as he looks to further his career.
“It’s been a good year so far, racing in the British LMP3 Championship and also now doing the last six rounds of the Forumla Renault Euro Cup,” Randle told CAMS.com.au.
Randle said he was learning plenty about his race craft overseas and just how competitive drivers needed to be.
“Other drivers are not afraid to place the car wherever they dare, so you can’t pass them. It certainly makes it hard, but you learn a lot of things in that sort of racing. You’ve just got to keep your nose clean,” the 21-year-old said.
The British LMP3 Cup Championship has been Randle’s most recent focus, and the BRDC Rising Star will race at Snetterton this weekend.
“Last year I was racing in the British F3 and that’s how I met the guy I’m driving with in the LMP3,” Randle said.
“He did a test day in an LMP3 and loved it, so he bought the car and asked if I wanted to drive with him this year. It’s an incredible car. It’s got a lot of aero and it has a five litre V8 engine in it, so it’s quite similar to what’s in Supercars.”
Randle has also juggled a mid-year return to open-wheel racing in Formula Renault, driving alongside fellow Aussies Alex Peroni, Luis Leeds, Thomas Maxwell and Zane Goddard.
“With the Formula Renault, that’s really good to just keep me racing sharp and racing fit. There are 30 drivers in that, all within one, one-and-a-half seconds of each other, it’s just insane. It’s just as hard in the practice and qualifying as it is in the race, because the racing is mental so it definitely keeps me sharp and I’m looking forward to the last three rounds of that too,” Randle said.
Asked what tips he would share with those young Australians rising through the motor sport ranks, Randle said it’s all about commitment.
“My main advice, when you are over there you have to give it 100 per cent because those opportunities do not come around often, so you’ve got to give it everything you’ve got. That’s how us Aussies are.
“When you go over there, it is a shock and even still today there are days that can be lonely or you can feel down, but as long as you have the right kind of support around you, you should be ok.”
The 21-year-old has plenty of supporters in his corner, none more so than racing royalty in Rusty French.
“I’d just like to thank Rusty French for all his support and obviously my dad, Dean Randle and the rest of my family and all the boys that have helped put this together and I’m looking forward to the rest of this year.
“It all started (with French) a couple of years ago when I was running in the Kerrick Sports Sedan at Winton. I qualified second there and I won the first race and he actually came up where we were pitted and that’s where we first met, and he wanted to know a bit more about myself and the car.
“He’s been really good to me and I’m hoping we can build a relationship and I’m looking forward to what the future holds.”
Randle has spent several weeks in Australia in the past month, working hard both on and off the track as he built support for his future in the sport.
Thanks to French, Randle raced in the Kumho Series at Queensland Raceway last month, enjoying every minute racing in what was a former Supercar.
“It’s been fun, really fun and it’s nice to come home and drive in an old V8 spec Ford at Queensland Raceway,” he said.
“Nothing beats the smell of a V8 in the morning.”