Clemente makes Cupra switch as new car lands in Australia
Michael Clemente and Carl Cox Motorsport have announced the purchase of a new Gen2 Cupra TCR, with the new car set to debut in the second round of the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series at Phillip Island this week.
The arrival of the brand new CUPRA TCR from the Spanish-brand’s motorsport headquarters in Barcelona, Spain, signifies the aims and ambitions of Mike and Carl Cox Motorsport as they strive to move to the front of the grid.
This will be the seventh manufacturer in the category joining Peugeot, Audi, Hyundai, Honda, Alfa Romeo and the recently confirmed Lynk & Co entry.
The car – which is seen in white on arrival but will be in full livery for the Phillip Island round – sees the 22-year-old move from the Honda Civic to trying the Audi RS3 at Bathurst in 2022 and at the opening 2023 round in Tasmania.
“During 2022, the team and I had numerous conversations about where we go from here and how do we get there,” Clemente said.
“We know that as a privateer team, we have to be very careful about how and where we spend our funds, but at the same time, set out a plan to challenge, regularly, for podium places.
“Once we all agreed on the plan, which was the easy part, we then had to work out how to make it happen.
“Without the amazing support of Carl, none of this would be possible. Back in November, given my experience of the Audi, and the MPC (Melbourne Performance Centre) team, we decided on CUPRA. They had just started selling cars in Australia, but we would also be the only ones running a CUPRA in the series.
“We ordered the car from CUPRA, and knowing it would not make Round 1, set our sights on Round 2 – and it just made it!”
Carl, currently travelling, was eager to see the arrival of the car and viewed its arrival via Facetime last Friday.
“We’re very pleased within the Carl Cox Motorsport team to be able to support Michael in his quest for podium spots in the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia series and with the investment in a brand new CUPRA Gen2 TCR car, we feel we can help him on this journey,” Cox said.
“We looked at a number of options, but felt with the emergence of CUPRA in the Australia retail market, and the success this car has seen in other markets, it would allow us to continue to standout and move up the grid.
“This will be the only Gen2 CUPRA racing in the series and I’m so excited to see how the season pans out as Mike gets to grip with the car.”
Added Clemente: “The new car really lightens up the entire picture. It truly is like a fresh start, and to be able to fight with this new and proven equipment is unreal. I’ve never been so hungry in my life before.”
The second round of Supercheap Auto TCR Australia will compete at the Shannons SpeedSeries event at Phillip Island on 12-14 May.
For those who are unable to make the trip to Phillip Island, Stan Sport will provide live and uninterrupted coverage from most of Saturday and Sunday’s action, while 9Gem will also broadcast three hours of Saturday afternoon’s racing.