CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship runner-up Thomas Randle has completed a successful two-day European Formula 3 test, held in Valencia earlier this week.
Driving T-Sport’s 2015 specification Dallara-Honda, Randle quickly acclimatised to the Formula 3 machine and the undulating Spanish circuit, lapping quickly from the outset on the full specification 4.05km configuration.
Randle was ecstatic with the experience, reveling in the high-downforce machine on a circuit that includes a long and challenging 210km/h first turn.
“When I first started the engine, I felt like a kid in a candy shop,” Randle said.
“Hearing the Neil Brown F3 engine idle was amazing and I couldn’t wait to put my foot on the loud pedal.
“Driving down past the garages of Signature, Campos, Carlin, Double R, Van Amersfoort was very cool also.”
Randle, despite juggling double duties in Formula 4 and the Australian Sports Sedan Series in 2015, found his first experiences in the European Formula 3 car to be impressive.
“The amount of aero on the Formula 3 is incredible,” Randle said.
“It pushes the car that much to the ground, that it’s so hard to steer the thing!
“The biggest thing for me was the aero, and how much more physical these cars are to drive than anything else I’ve ever driven.”
The T-Sport engineering team was another new experience for Randle, but found the experience to be as pleasant.
“I thought I adapted quite well with a new engineer, he being one of the team owners of T-Sport. I thought we worked quite well together,” Randle said.
“The team has nicknames for everybody, and we found a stray dog at a service station on setup day, and someone thought it was a dingo, so I got the nickname ‘Dingo’ – being Aussie also didn’t help!”
Having concluded his first international test, Randle will now observe DREAM Motorsport teammate Luis Leeds testing with MSA Formula squad Arden Motorsport; with Leeds recently signed to the Red Bull Junior Team.
“Yeah it’s really awesome for Luis,” Randle said.
“He’s had a great season this year with some good results and has really come a long way from the beginning of the year to develop into a very mature driver.
“I hope he can show everyone next year just how good he is!”
For Randle, the young Victorian hopes to make the next step to Europe with sufficient backing and support.
“Absolutely, if I can get the funding for next year I would love to stay over here,” Randle said.
“My ultimate goal is to compete in the FIA Formula 3 championship, but it’s going to come down to budget.”