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Randle repair falls just short of Shootout

THOMAS Randle was a frustrated spectator for Saturday’s Top 10 Shootout at the VALO Adelaide 500 after efforts to repair his Tickford Mustang in time fell agonisingly short.

Randle crashed heavily in the dying stages of Practice 3 this morning, slamming into the concrete wall at Turn 8.

Once the car returned to the Tickford garage, the team set about fixing the damage for the Shootout session starting just 65 minutes after practice concluded.

They missed the cut-off for the Shootout by a matter of moments, with frantic scenes unfolding as Randle – strapped into the car – was denied a chance to take part.

The Tickford crew at work. Pic: an1images.com

Supercars’ Head of Motorsport Adrian Burgess explained that being slated as the first car to run in the Shootout was ultimately costly for Randle.

“We feel for them, it’s nothing we want to see but we were in the hands of the stewards running the event and the rule is pretty clear, you have to be at pit exit for the start of your run,” he said.

“Another minute and they would have been there. We tried to get a little bit of leniency… but we weren’t given that and the rule is pretty black and white unfortunately.

“You need to be there ready to go at the start of your run. Unfortunately if they were another car later in the process they probably would have made it.”

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Randle earlier explained that he’d entered the sweeping right-hand Turn 8 corner too fast.

“The moment I knew I was gone I just put the brakes on to take off as much speed as possible. I tried to go in too fast, understeered and then got offline,” he said.

“As soon as I got to that point, I just got on the brakes. I’m just pissed off with myself and I’m gutted for the team. It’s the last thing I wanted to do.

“We’ve been pretty strong up until this point. We did a race run early in the session and it was really good.”

Randle had been in hot form on the Adelaide streets; topping Practice 1 on Thursday before placing second in Practice 2, 10th in qualifying and then fifth in Practice 3, despite the crash.

“I’ve been in worse situations. I’ve been thought the grieving stage now, you’ve got to go through that, process it,” he said of getting over the accident.

“The team has been really good. They said, ‘we’ll get it fixed and carry on the form we’ve had to this point’.

“To me it’s a blip in the radar. It’s a blip I didn’t want to have, but that’s racing. At the time I felt like I was living my worst nightmare, but we’ll see what happens.”

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