Clemente takes maiden win with last-lap pass
Michael Clemente has taken his first ever win in the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series after pulling off a last lap pass on Jordan Cox’s Peugeot to win the reverse top ten encounter.
Clemente forced his way through on the final lap at the Southern Loop as Cox left the door ever so slightly open, bringing his new Cupra Leon home for an emotional win in the marque’s debut weekend.
Cox made a fantastic start off the front row to head polesitter and TCR debutant Brad Harris’ Honda into Doohan Corner, with Clemente following through from fourth on the grid not long after.
Cox set about pulling away from Clemente and had a monumental moment over the top of Lukey Heights on lap two, pulling off a spectacular one-handed save in trademark Jordan Cox fashion.
Lachlan Mineeff then did his best impression of the Schaeffler GRM Peugeot, surfing through the gravel on the outside of the final corner on the end of lap three, rejoining at the tail of the field.
Championship leader Bailey Sweeny was in the thick of the action as well, engaging in a fierce battle with the Valvoline GRM Peugeots of Aaron Cameron and Kody Garland for fifth position.
Cox had another heart in mouth moment when he ran wide at Miller Corner on lap seven, inviting Clemente right onto the rear bumper of the Peugeot.
Clemente then eased back from the Schaeffler Peugeot, before launching one final charge on the penultimate lap, culminating with the pass for the win.
Ben Bargwanna rounded out the podium with a solid drive from fifth on the grid in the Burson Auto Parts Racing Peugeot.
Harris would finish an impressive fourth in only his second TCR Australia start, whilst championship leader Bailey Sweeny rounded out the top five in his Hyundai i30N as his consistent start to the 2023 season continues.
The Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series is next on track for their third and final race at 4:20 this afternoon.
The race will be broadcast live, ad-break free and on demand on Stan Sport.
International audiences can view the race via www.speedseries.com.au/TV.