23 January 2020 | Featured

Privateer Honda TCR entries complete Winton test

Two of the new privateer Honda entries have got a head start on the TCR Australia pack as they prepare for the 2020 season.

Michael Clemente and Zac Soutar, who will both compete in Honda Civic Type Rs this year, conducted private testing at Winton Raceway yesterday, getting the first feel of their new cars.

Both Clemente and Soutar’s entries will be run independently having purchased the Civics from Australian agent Wall Racing.

Clemente, an ex-Hyundai Excel racer, has purchased the Honda that Nestor Girolami raced to three wins at the Sandown TCR Australia round. He said that he enjoyed the test.

“It was a really good day,” said Clemente.

“It was my first time in the car and it was quite productive – we learnt a lot.

“The car ran faultlessly and it was a really good shakedown. We have plenty to learn, but yesterday was a great chance for us to dip our toes in the water.

“We are confident that we will get our head it all and be in a competitive position for the Grand Prix.”

After finishing second in the Australian Formula Ford Championship last year, Soutar secured the Honda that Tony D’Alberto used in the opening round at Sydney Motorsport Park, taking pole position and two podium finishes.

Soutar was very pleased with his new car, marking his first ever drive of a touring car.

“It was a great first day in the car for us,” said Soutar.

“Our team did a great job running it and the car was perfect.

“I really wasn’t sure what to expect. It was literally my first day in TCR, first day in a tin top and first in a front wheel drive race car. It was all pretty new, but I was blown away with how much fun it was.

“We’re going to try and do another test before the first round, but it will be dependant on timings.”

Both of the Victorian-based privateer Honda entries will be at the pre-season test at Winton Raceway on February 26 and will compete at the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix on March 12-15.

The Winton test was held on the same day as Liam McAdam’s private test at Phillip Island, where French TCR ace Jean-Karl Vernay assisted with his program. CLICK HERE for more on the McAdam test at Phillip Island.