19 August 2021 |

Michael Clemente – Repaired and ready to go

Repairs to Supercheap Auto TCR Australia privateer Michael Clemente’s Honda Civic Type R TCR have been completed ahead of the final rounds of the season after problems were encountered at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Panel and mechanical damage needed to be repaired by Clemente’s family-run team following a final race DNF at the last round of the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series at SMP in May.

“We had a clutch issue in the final race at Sydney Motorsport Park, which led to a collision, so we stripped the rear to fix what was bent and broken from the stalled start,” Clemente explained.

“Then we fixed the clutch plate issue that caused the problem in the first place.

“We have plenty of good blokes in the workshop that help out and got it all done in a day. Really, we’re waiting for the rear bumper to be resprayed at Avondale Body Smash Repairs.”

Reflecting on his maiden season so far, Clemente is confident early season form at Phillip Island, which resulted in a fifth-place finish can be carried through to the final rounds at The Bend and Bathurst.

“It’s a shame how the season has gone so far, if we can get everything right at The Bend and Bathurst, I think we have a pretty competitive package,” he said.

“I think our results haven’t really shown what we’re capable of and how we’ve really been going.

“I feel like the only clean race we’ve had was at Phillip Island, which for us was a good result finishing fifth in the final and that was our true car speed. We’ve just had a fair bit of bad luck in the other rounds; Bathurst we struggled with an engine and Sydney was no better.

“We seem to be struggling in qualifying and by the end of the weekend we tend to be a lot better, but we’ll get there eventually.”

Clemente will enter The Bend doubleheader as one of the more experienced drivers at the venue after contesting Excel races there regularly before joining Supercheap Auto TCR Australia this season.

Using his prior knowledge, Clemente believes the Honda should be strong at the venue.

“The Bend is in some ways like Phillip Island with the flowing design, but it’s a lot more technical and a lot slower through the tight corners plus I know the track well,” Clemente summarised.

“Hopefully we can get a test there as we are finding we’re a little bit behind the eight ball at every circuit we go to as most of the other teams have already been there.”

The next rounds of the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series will be held at The Bend Motorsport Park on October 15-17.