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Randle out to make amends for Albert Park

“THE results on paper don’t look as good as what we should be. Our potential is a lot better.”

That’s the story of Tickford Racing’s start to the season through the lens of Thomas Randle.

The #55 Castrol Mustang driver is eight positions ahead of star teammate Cam Waters in the championship, but that doesn’t exactly have him jumping for joy.

Randle finished fourth in the Sunday races at both Bathurst and Albert Park, but his other four 2024 results thus far read: 14th (Race 1 at Bathurst), 22nd, 23rd and 22nd (Races 1-3 at Albert Park).

While his car was last month afflicted by a gear rod issue that has since been rectified, Randle was quick to take responsibility for an at-times sloppy performance on the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix undercard.

“Needless to say, I admitted to the team that I certainly wasn’t driving my best in the first two races. My decision-making was not great,” he told V8 Sleuth ahead of Round 3 this weekend at Taupō.

“I probably overdrove it in the first couple of qualies and was probably a bit frustrated that I qualified out of position and should have been a bit more patient the first two races. I owned that.

“Where we are, sitting seventh in the teams’ and myself eighth and Cam 16th in the championship is not a true representation of where we are.

“It’s a shame that we’re two rounds in and that’s where we are. There’s no denying the fact that we don’t want to be there, it’s not where we belong.

“We know what we need to do to be up the front. It’s just all those one-percenters that make the difference, I mean Triple Eight really haven’t put a foot wrong this year.

“They are just doing a really good job. It was refreshing to see Nick (Percat) win and take it to the Triple Eight guys.”

Thomas Randle and Cam Waters. Pic: Supplied/Mark Horsburgh

Randle’s Dream Simulation business has come in handy for his and Waters’ Taupō preparations, given no driver in the field has previously driven a Gen3 Supercar at the New Zealand circuit.

“I have been lucky enough to have a really good track model built, it’s all very accurate and the team utilises it for their own stuff and then driver-in-the-loop stuff Cam and myself have been using it,” said the 2020 Super2 champion.

“It’s obviously quite an expense to get over there and practice for anyone, flying over to New Zealand and the track hire.

“To be able jump on the sim and use the Gen3 sim model… when you have only got the one 90-minute practice session on a track that’s abrasive on tyres, you want to be able to roll out and already know what you want to do.”

Randle added: “I think we both can be up the front, we just need to do it more regularly. We have got another 10 rounds to go, so first goal as a team is to get back up there in the pitlane order.

“It’s very tight really from second to where we are (seventh in the teams’ championship), and it’s tight from me to fourth in the (drivers’) championship, so we’ll see what we can do.”

Practice starts today at 10:55am AEST (12:55pm local).

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