31 October 2023 |

Clemente forced to Sydney sidelines, hopes remain for Bathurst

MICHAEL CLEMENTE still has hopes of tackling the Mountain against the world’s best, despite being forced to call time on plans to contest the opening Kumho TCR World Tour round on Aussie Soil this weekend at Sydney Motorsport Park. 

Budget issues have forced the popular Victorian and his Carl Cox Motorsport Cupra Leon TCR out of contention this weekend.

Clemente and his family-run team have been one of the standout performers of this year’s Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series, currently sitting eighth in the standings with two rounds remaining.

Highlights have included a stunning win in Race 2 at Phillip Island, which was backed-up by second in the following race. He then followed that with pole and the Race 1 win at Winton in June to go with nine other top-10 finishes.

Scenes of his large supporter group of sponsors, friends and family have become the norm at TCR Australia rounds this year, with the second-year driver hoping to return that vibe to Bathurst the following week.

“Unfortunately we won’t be able to make this weekend’s round at Sydney,” Clemente posted on his social media accounts.

“We’ve done absolutely everything we could to try and put together the funds to make it there but ultimately there just wasn’t enough left in the kitty litter.

“It’s a massive shame to miss such an incredible opportunity to race against the internationals, something I’ve been looking forward to all year and have been super focused on, as well it being a track that I thought would suit our CUPRA perfectly.

“We’re still working nonstop to attend the final round at Bathurst, where hopefully we can put in a strong performance against the world’s best.”

Clemente’s team continues their search for budget ahead of the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International next week.

His absence will leave the Race Sydney TCR field at 24 cars, which remains the largest in the local history of the category.

Teams arrive at Sydney Motorsport Park later this week ahead of the two-day event, commencing on Friday afternoon.

Purchase your tickets for Race Sydney and Supercheap Auto Bathurst International

Those who are unable to make it to the track for both rounds will be able to catch the action live, on demand and ad-free coverage on Stan Sport and on the Nine Network.

Kumho TCR World Tour and Supercheap Auto TCR Australia will share the grid at Race Sydney on 3-4 November, before returning to the track the following week for Supercheap Auto Bathurst International on 10-12 November.