Australian Thomas Randle will make the step up from BRDC British Formula 3 to race in the Formula V8 3.5 Series at Jerez on October 28-30, it has been confirmed. The 20-year-old will participate in the penultimate round of the V8 3.5 season at the Spanish circuit and will also test the car at the same track prior to his debut weekend.
Randle has enjoyed an extremely successful maiden season in European racing, having graduated to British F3 after finish as runner-up in his homeland’s FIA F4 Championship in 2015. He took two wins and five other podium finishes across the 2016 season and finish fourth in the championship standings for Douglas Motorsport.
After claiming rookie honours in the Zandvoort Masters of F3 event in August, Randle has secured a drive in the upcoming inaugural Prototype Cup round at Snetterton on October 8/9, driving Douglas Motorsport’s brand new LMP3 Ligier. He will follow that by stepping up to the Formula Renault 3.5 V8 category, ensuring that the Melbourne-born driver has an extremely busy few weeks upcoming.
Randle said: “I’m incredibly excited and fortunate to be racing in the Formula V8 3.5 category after my successful debut season racing internationally. I’ve been working at the team as a data engineer this year and helping out where I can, so when the opportunity to drive the car presented itself I as good as begged the team to put me in the seat.”
He continued: “It has been a dream of mine to drive a Formula V8 3.5 car and to finally get the opportunity to not only test, but to contest a full race meeting is just amazing. Comtec were a very successful team in what was previously known as the World Series by Renault 3.5, winning the championship in 2006 and enjoyed enormous success, so I know that I’m going to be working with a world-class team. It will also be my first time driving a car with DRS and hopefully I can acclimatise to the car as quickly as possible.”
Phil Blow, Comtec Racing Team Principal, added: “Tom is a very exciting young driver and has done very well in his first year in Europe. Obviously this is a big jump for him, but we feel that it shouldn’t be a major problem. We’ve worked with him for a little while now and we got on really well very quickly, so it should be really good to work with him on a different level.”
The Formula V8 3.5 Series is a one-make championship with cars producing 530 BHP and featuring a Drag Reduction System similar to Formula 1. The cars are of a similar performance level to the GP2 Series and, in its former guise as the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, has provided the final stepping stone for drivers such as Robert Kubica, Kevin Magnussen and Carlos Sainz Jr to reach Formula 1.