A strong finish to 2022 has Thomas Randle determined to carry momentum into his second season with Tickford Racing.
Randle’s rookie season was wholly undone by bad luck, headlined by his startline accident at The Bend.
Earlier in the year, he qualified an impressive fourth at Albert Park, only to be forced out due to a steering problem.
However, the 2020 Super2 champion found impressive pace in the marquee events late in the season.
Notably, Randle reached both ARMOR ALL Top Ten Shootouts at Surfers Paradise, before turning up the wick in Adelaide.
It came after Randle also reached the Shootout in Townsville, and scored two top 10 finishes at Sandown, just weeks after his Bend crash.
Randle topped first practice at the VALO Adelaide 500 and reached another Shootout, which he missed due to a practice crash.
To that point of the weekend, Randle was comfortably a top-five driver — and that’s what he wants more of in 2023.
“Everyone’s got the same ambition, up and down the grid,” Randle told Supercars.com.
“They say you make your own luck — but especially the second half of last year, we were on a really good trajectory.
“Myself, Ray [Lau, engineer] and the team, we were making really good progress. We had nine top 10 qualys in the last 15 races.
“The hard work was paying off. Two Shootouts on the Gold Coast, another one in Adelaide despite my crash.”
Throughout the course of 2022, Randle demonstrated strong pace, and at times matches — and in the case of Albert Park — bettered fancied teammate Cam Waters.
Regardless, poor luck continued to rear its head, such as Bathurst, where a first-lap crash for co-driver Zak Best ensured Randle didn't turn a racing lap at all.
He was also running towards the front in the Gold Coast finale where he was an innocent bystander in James Golding's chicane incident.
While conscious he sometimes has to make his own luck, Randle proved in Adelaide that front-running form can be no fluke.
“The pace we had… we were top five the whole weekend in Adelaide to the point of my crash,” he said of the season finale.
“It didn’t feel like a fluke to us. It’s where we deserved to be. It would’ve been interesting had I not crashed.
“Carrying on that momentum is important, but there are a lot of unknowns with the new cars.”
Randle and Waters will be joined by James Courtney and rookie Declan Fraser at Tickford Racing in 2023.
The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship will commence at the Thrifty Newcastle 500 on March 10-12.
Tickets are on sale on Supercars.com and Ticketek.com.