Douglas Motorsport have signed Australian driver Thomas Randle to race in the 2016 BRDC Formula 4 Championship, it has been confirmed today. The 19-year-old graduates from the Australian Formula 4 Championship, where he finished as runner-up in 2015, Thomas becomes our first signed F4 driver for the upcoming season.

Randle, who hails from Melbourne, began his karting career aged seven and won his first major event in 2011, before claiming two national titles a year later with success in the Australian National Sprint Kart Championship and Australian Rotax Nationals. He raced numerous times overseas, participating in the Rotax World Finals in Portugal and also making appearances in the British Super One Series.

Randle stepped up to single-seaters in 2013, and finished as runner-up in the national Formula Ford Championship Rookie of the Year standings after contesting six of the seven rounds. The teenager went on to take five race wins, one pole position and had a 100 per cent finishing record in 2014 to claim the overall title.

Early in 2015, Randle contested the Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand, claiming two podium finishes, before racing in the inaugural Australian Formula 4 Championship, where he won seven races and finished as vice-champion. He now graduates to BRDC Formula 4 and becomes the first Australian to race in the championship.

Randle said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be teaming up with Douglas Motorsport for the 2016 BRDC Formula 4 Championship. The new Tatuus car with Cosworth engine for 2016 looks very quick and having seen Douglas’ results in the Autumn Trophy, I have the confidence that we can be quite strong in our championship assault.

“I’m looking forward to working with (race engineer) Marcus Koch, who has a lot of experience with World Series by Renault and many other popular one-make formula categories, and I believe we will build a great relationship throughout the year to produce some good results.”

Wayne Douglas, Team Principal of Douglas Motorsport, added: “We are delighted to welcome Thomas to our team for 2016 and we are looking forward to working with him throughout the year. I have been very impressed with his performances back in his native country and I am confident that he can translate that across to racing in Europe. With a strong pre-season testing programme, we are sure he will hit the ground running and hopefully be able to challenge for wins as the season progresses.”

The 2016 BRDC Formula 4 Championship gets underway at Snetterton on the weekend of March 27/28, and takes in races at renowned circuits such as Brands Hatch, Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps.