RECENTLY crowned Dunlop Super2 Series winner Thomas Randle will return to Tickford Racing in 2021, but only as a part-time driver.
The team has confirmed Randle’s place in its co-driver line-up for the 2021 Bathurst 1000 after failing to secure a fourth Racing Entitlements Contract to put the youngster on the grid full-time.
Randle was in line to join Cameron Waters, Jack Le Brocq and James Courtney in the team, but the squad is down a REC after Phil Munday sold his entry to Brad Jones Racing.
Tickford incumbent Lee Holdsworth has been left on the sidelines in the shuffle and is expected to land a prime co-drive elsewhere.
Randle though is sticking with Tickford and, although not yet confirmed, is thought likely to make wildcard appearances with the team during 2021 ahead of his Bathurst co-drive.
His deal with the team has been announced as a multi-year agreement, hinting at a potential full-time promotion for 2022.
The 24-year-old drove for Tickford in 2018 and ’19, completing two Super2 seasons, a main game wildcard and an enduro campaign alongside Holdsworth.
He switched to MW Motorsport in 2020 and won the three-round Super2 Series but endured a tough Bathurst 1000 with Nick Percat at Brad Jones Racing.
Tickford is yet to confirm which driver Randle will partner at Bathurst next year, with a busy co-driver market currently unfolding.
James Moffat is expected to continue in Tickford’s line-up for a fourth straight year, while James Golding is being touted as a possible co-driver of the Boost Mobile entry.
“I am very pleased to say I’m returning to Tickford Racing,” said Randle.
“Obviously I got my first crack in a Supercar with Tickford so it’s great to come back and reignite the relationships I have with all the guys and girls in the workshop.
“Knowing I’ll be here for multiple years is fantastic. It gives me a sense of security to do my best for the team.
“Having raced with Tickford before, I know the team environment and dynamic quite well, I know most of the guys and girls already, so that will put me a step ahead.”
Diagnosed with testicular cancer at the start of 2020, Randle was recently awarded the British Racing Drivers’ Club’s Innes Ireland Trophy for the courage he displayed in fighting the illness.
Tickford boss Tim Edwards is full of praise for Randle.
“Thomas has impressed us in and out of the car since his first Super2 practice session all the way back in 2018 in Adelaide, so we’re thrilled to have him back for 2021,” said Edwards.
“It doesn’t take much to realise Tom’s one of the best up and coming drivers of his generation.
“He’s overcome some extraordinary challenges in 2020 which we’ve all followed closely, and when the opportunity to work together in 2021 arose we were all delighted to make it happen.
“Our team and our fans are elated to have him back in the fold, and we are very much looking forward to many more successes together in the future.”
Tickford recently confirmed it’ll field another former MWM driver, Zak Best, in its Dunlop Super2 Series entry next season.