Randle’s Tickford deal marks a return to racing on home soil for the young Victorian, after a couple of seasons in European competition.

“First of all it’s great to be back in Australia,” Randle said. “I’ve had an amazing time in Europe the last two years, and I’d like to firstly thank all my supporters there, and Rusty French for his continued support as I return to Australia. To be part of Tickford Racing is pretty special, and to begin this new chapter of my career in this way feels pretty remarkable, I’m really looking forward to getting into it.”

Almost unique for a driver barely out of his teens, Randle has experience in a hugely diverse range of categories. In recent years he has concentrated on openwheelers, including local Formula 4, Formula Renault in Europe and the New Zealand Toyota Racing Series, which he won, but Randle has also raced LMP3 Sports Cars, Porsche GT4, a Kumho V8 Touring Car and a Chev-powered Saab Sports Sedan.

“The fact that I’ve been lucky to drive so many cars, I think that experience will really help me learn this car,” he said. “All the different tyre compounds I’ve been on, the different dynamics of all the cars – prototypes, tin tops, single seaters – you can take different things from different cars. I’ve heard the Dunlop Super2 tyre is a very tricky tyre to master, and when we get into testing we’ll find out. I’m sure all the experience I’ve had isn’t going to hurt, and all the racing and race craft I’ve learned over the years will help me too.”

Team principal and CEO Tim Edwards likens the 21-year old’s signing to that of current Tickford Racing stars Chaz Mostert and Cameron Waters, as well as Garry Jacobson, who exits the team this year after two stellar seasons in Dunlop Super2.

“Thomas is a young man we’ve had our eye on for a while, so to have him in our camp is exciting news,” Edwards said. “We’ve seen what he’s capable of both in this part of the world and abroad, and at his age we can develop him in our program and build him into an even more well-rounded driver. The aim is to help him sustain a long, successful career with Tickford Racing, and the Super2 category will provide a good challenge for him to start with. He’s a strong talent with room to grow, and we’re looking forward to helping him achieve that growth.”