29 March 2023 |

Prior Phillip Island form a confidence booster for Michael Clemente

Privateer Michael Clemente is excited to head to Phillip Island for Round 2 of the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series after impressive performances on the last two visits.

Last year, it ended in heartbreak as a mechanical problem halted Clemente’s run towards the podium in Race 2. This backed up his fifth place result the previous season driving his familiar Honda Civic Type R TCR.

Clemente made the switch to Audi ahead of the final round at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International and continued this at the opening event of the current season at AWC Race Tasmania where again he just missed a podium shot, something he is targeting at Phillip Island.

“It was definitely a good opening round for us, we had a really solid points haul to put us in a good position and reflecting back I was happy with it,” said Clemente.

“I didn’t maximise the opportunity in Race 2 when I started from pole. I buckled the start and it dropped me back where I probably could have finished on the podium or if not higher up, so that was a bit of a shame.

“It only makes me hungrier, the mistake won’t happen again and next time we get the opportunity – hopefully at Phillip Island – we’ll be able to maximise on it.”

As a Victorian, Clemente is well acquainted with Phillip Island and will have his normal army of supporters to push him forward as he aims to follow through on the promise he displayed last year.

“I love Phillip Island,” he emphasised. “I like the track, its right up there with Bathurst for me. I have really good memories there and it suits my driving style. It’s kind of a local round, so I’m really keen.

“I got a really good start, led the first few laps and I think pulled a small gap by the end of the opening lap, which was pretty cool. Fabs (Coulthard) came through and passed me on lap four or five, but I stuck with him so I was confident that we had the race measured. Unfortunately, a drive dog came off the car and forced us into a DNF, which really sucked as I think we could have had quite a spectacular result.

“I had my family there, so it was really awesome to have a lot of people there to support me. It means a lot to me and I thrive off it.”

The second round of Supercheap Auto TCR Australia forms part of the Shannons SpeedSeries round at Phillip Island on May 12-14.