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Wednesday, April 17, 2024
HomeNewsRandle dubs trial steering rack ‘amazing’ success

Randle dubs trial steering rack ‘amazing’ success

THOMAS Randle has called on Supercars to adopt a Tickford Racing-developed steering rack alternative after its successful trial at the Gold Coast.

Tickford was granted permission to run the new rack in the #55 Castrol Mustang at Surfers Paradise with a view to full implementation in 2024.

Steering racks have been a hot topic at various points this season, with Supercars and Triple Eight testing modifications to the existing Sportech product after complaints about its reliability and feel.

Randle is adamant Tickford’s variant is a step forward.

After essentially missing Practice 1 due to an unrelated steering pump issue, Randle enjoyed a strong Gold Coast showing with placings of fourth and seventh to back up teammate Cam Waters’ double podium.

“It was a success for sure. We had pretty much zero issues with the rack itself. It was really positive and promising signs,” he told V8 Sleuth.

“It was a test run for the rack, it did a little bit of running in Cam’s car at Winton, just to make sure it was working and stuff like that, and we had a few sensors on it across the weekend just to monitor it to make sure it was doing the right stuff.

“But I really enjoyed driving it, it felt like I was driving a Gen2 in regards to the steering feel.

“I mean, we ran a Tickford-designed rack in the Gen2 and not once in my time of driving at Tickford did we ever mention a steering rack issue.

“So for the team to design, manufacture and build a rack in-house, converted essentially from what we had rear-steer to front-steer, test it on the rig at work and then to actually run it – it felt amazing. There’s still a little bit of refining to do, finetuning, but no concerns.

“The great thing was we ran it in both races to see the durability of it, to see whether or not the feeling would change, and it didn’t really change.

“Obviously there has been a lot of talk about the current rack in the cars and how much the feeling changes and they’re not very strong if you have wheel-to-wheel contact; the team have gone through quite a few racks.

Thomas Randle. Pic: Supplied

“And we get different feelings when we have different racks in the car.

“So to pretty much have no issues with the rack itself is a testament to the team and also to Supercars for letting that development occur… the fact that they’re open to this, I think it’s a really positive step for the category, if they go down that path. I believe they should.

“I’d just like to never talk about steering racks ever again!”

Randle said the Tickford rack has more range than the Sportech version, and believes better reliability will translate to harder racing.

“For those who are watching us race, they want to see us race hard and at the moment it’s been a case of ‘what if we hit at the wrong angle and it blows the rack’,” he added.

“I didn’t really have any of those concerns on the weekend.”

Randle had Chris Stuckey as his engineer at Gold Coast, in a partnership that is expected to continue into 2024.

Stuckey had been on Declan Fraser’s #56 Tradie Mustang; Randle’s previous engineer Raymond Lau is heading to the Blanchard Racing Team next year.

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