Audi sample a success for privateer Michael Clemente
After swapping his usual family-run Honda Civic Type R TCR for a Melbourne Performance Centre-prepared Audi RS3 LMS TCR at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International, Melbourne privateer Michael Clemente is assessing his options for 2023.
Clemente was left impressed by not only the Audi, but the Melbourne Performance Centre operation as not as the privateer revealed he was eager to experience both the marque and running inside a big team.
“The switch was mainly based on wanting to work with a team, so it was a no brainer for us to work with Melbourne Performance Centre,” Clemente explained.
“It is a professional operation and the results speak for themselves.”
A pre-Bathurst test proved a success for Clemente due to the RS3 LMS TCR suiting the young gun’s driving style as he confirmed the Audi drive was a one off as he affirmed his commitment to the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series.
“When we did the test in the Audi it was a very big step in the other direction quite loose and direct. I really enjoyed having a quick steering rack and real small inputs have a massive response,” Clemente emphasised.
“It was a one off with the Audi, we don’t know what we’ll be doing next year and we’re in TCR Australia for the long haul.
“We’re not interested in any other categories. This is a really good one and TCR has a lot of potential with the World Tour coming. I think we’re only seeing the start of it, which is awesome and I’m really happy to be a part of it.”
Clemente expects the competition to rise through new manufacturers and updated models joining the grid in the future, though didn’t hint at what his next move will be.
“The next year or so I think the category will experience a lot of changes coming, there are some new manufacturers coming, a lot of new versions of current makes coming through, so that’s why we didn’t want to jump the gun and lock ourselves into something,” he predicted.
“We’ve done two years as kind of a warm up. We understand the cars, front-wheel-drive and the category a while lot better, which will put us in a better position preparing for what’s coming.”
AWC Race Tasmania once again opens the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia season on February 24-26.