Michael Clemente ready for Supercheap Auto TCR Australia return
A privateer missing from the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia field in recent rounds has been Michael Clemente, but he will make his return at Phillip Island armed with new support and confidence following a successful test.
Last year, Clemente impressed in his limited maiden season where he finished a best of fifth at Phillip Island.
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However, a clutch problem and resulting collision with Jason Bargwanna during the start of the final race at Sydney Motorsport Park left plenty of work to do for the team ahead of its return.
With the repairs complete and a new sponsorship with international DJ Carl Cox announced, Clemente returned to the track in his Honda Civic Type R TCR recently at Phillip Island as a shakedown prior to the next round of Supercheap Auto TCR Australia at the same circuit.
“We just got some track time in; it was good to get out there as I haven’t driven the car since last May at Sydney Motorsport Park,” said Clemente.
“It took about half a day to get used to the car and we had some niggly problems like the boost hose came loose, but once we sorted that out we trialled a few things.
“It was great to get out there and by the end of the day we pulled up pretty well.”
Clemente did contest a Australian Pulsar Racing Association endurance event earlier this year to keep match fit, but was delighted to return to the Civic Type R TCR as the team were able to overcome some slight problems to be prepared for Phillip Island.
“We had the whole rear banged up and once we sorted that out, we fixed the clutch problem, which required a whole engine pull out as well as a complete disassembly,” he explained.
“It was great to get it all together and finally hit the track prior to a race weekend to figure out all the niggles, so it panned out to be a good day.”
The addition of Carl Cox Motorsport on the flanks of his entry is just one of various new sponsors joining Clemente for his second season, but having the international DJ’s support is something not lost on the privateer.
“We’re stoked,” Clemente revealed. “It’s awesome to have such a well known sponsor, it’s basically a famous celebrity working with you.
“It’s pretty surreal.”
Focus now turns back to Phillip Island where Clemente arrives with good form from last year at the venue, with fellow Honda privateer Zac Soutar’s strong results at Symmons Plains adding further confidence.
“We did well there last year and with the current performance of the Hondas, I’m really hoping we can push for podiums, that’s definitely what we’re after,” Clemente enthused.
”We’re definitely looking for a good result.”
The second round of Supercheap Auto TCR Australia will be part of the opening Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships event of the season at Phillip Island on March 18-20.
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Anyone wishing to attend the event is reminded tickets will not be available for purchase at the gate. Tickets must be purchased via Eventbrite prior to entry. Purchasing your tickets in advance will save you time at the gate.