Tickford Racing has confirmed that Thomas Randle will make three wildcard appearances in the Repco Supercars Championship this year in a Castrol-backed Ford Mustang.
It has long been rumored that last year’s Super2 series winner would make a handful of wildcard starts in 2021.
Randle was due to compete in full in this year’s Supercars Championship, but Tickford Racing was unable to secure the necessary racing eligibility contract to field a fourth car.
The Melbourne-based driver, who will also contest this year’s Repco Bathurst 1000 with the team, will start the 2021 season for the first time on May 8th and 9th at Bend Motorsport Park.
His other appearances will be at Hidden Valley Raceway the following month and Wanneroo Raceway in September.
In addition to his support from Castrol, the 25-year-old is supported by ACT Fence Hire and Herzog Steel.
“I’m just absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to drive the Castrol Racing Ford Mustang for Tickford Racing at three events this season,” said Randle.
“Tickford and Castrol have been great supporters of my career so far and are both cult brands in Australian motorsport. It is therefore incredibly special to represent her on the starting grid in this role.
“I am of course very familiar with the team at Tickford, and I have a lot of experience driving their cars, so I feel as though I can get into Tailem Bend straight away and feel comfortable.”
This year’s OTR SuperSprint is the second time Randle has made a wildcard appearance at The Bend Motorsport Park, his first competitive outing as a solo driver in 2019.
In this case, the Victorian finished 17th in both races.
“Obviously we put together a wildcard at Tailem Bend a few years ago and it did pretty well,” added Randle.
“Hopefully we can be just as strong, if not stronger, on our debut and carry that over to the other two events which are also very exciting.”
Tim Edwards, chief executive of Tickford Racing, said the wildcard is the next step in Randle’s continued evolution in the Supercars championship.
The young gun began racing with the Campbellfield-based team in 2018 and piloted the team’s only Super2 Series entry that year.
He continued that role in 2019, adding an endurance co-drive that partnered Lee Holdsworth with a podium result in the Sandown 500 before winning the Super2 title with MW Motorsport.
“We have obviously spent a lot of time developing Thomas over the past few years, so it’s fantastic to be taking this next step in your career and having Castrol on board for these events is tremendous,” said Edwards.
“Castrol has obviously been a partner of ours since day one. We had already extended our partnership to this season.
“To put the cherry on top and have the Castrol Racing Ford back on the grid with a talent like Thomas behind the wheel is an excellent result for all of us.
“We are very excited to be putting this program together and we are sure that Thomas and the Castrol Racing crew will do a great job and we can’t wait for them to hit the track at The Bend.”
It is the second major campaign for Randle in which he has supported Castrol this year.
Randle competed in the VHT S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship using the iconic green, red and white color scheme.
He’ll be testing with Tickford Racing at Winton Motor Raceway next week.