Randle back in Toyota for Pukekohe test
Former Castrol TRS champion Thomas Randle got his eye in around the iconic Pukekohe circuit last week, choosing a TOYOTA GAZOO Racing TR86 for his important day of learning.
Randle, also backed by TRS title sponsor Castrol, made the flying visit with fellow Supercars ace Broc Feeney and both were surprise but welcome additions to the Pukekohe test day.
It was the first time the two young stars had driven the circuit, which hosts its last Supercars event in September, and Randle enjoyed the experience.
“It was all very short notice to be honest,” he said after a successful day. “I had never driven the Pukekohe circuit before so to get some laps prior to the round was always going to be beneficial.
“I really loved driving the track today, we had a mixture of wet and dry conditions so it was great to experience both prior to our Supercars round here in a couple of weeks.
“It is a real shame that the circuit will be closing down as it has quite a lot of character to it. Even being quite a short track there are some very tricky sections, the first sector will be challenging over the bumps through Turn 1 and the run down through 2, 3 and 4. The final corner onto the straight will also be a lot of fun in the Supercar, requiring plenty of commitment!
“A big thank you to Toyota NZ, Nicolas Caillol, my dad and Tickford Racing for helping organise the day! The Toyota 86 was fun to drive. It just took me a little bit to get used to the ABS and also the tyre as it is quite different to what we drive on. It was made even more challenging by the conditions with all the rain but nonetheless was a lot of fun and we achieved what we needed to.”
The Toyota 86s will be on the programme for the final Supercar weekend with a 19 car grid and a monster prize package. Former champions Callum Hedge and Peter Vodanovich are making one-off appearances and will be among the favourites for weekend honours, along with Toyota 86 front runner Justin Allen, who dominated proceedings when the championship last visited the circuit earlier this year.
Toyota’s 2022-2023 TR86 racing programme gets underway with the Pukekohe weekend, before beginning its season proper at Highlands Motorsport Park in January, the first of a six round 2023 championship.