18-year-old to race Honda Civic in 2020 TCR Australia

18-year-old to race Honda Civic in 2020 TCR Australia

Néstor Girolami TCR Australia
Photo: TCR Australia

18-year-old Michael Clemente has confirmed his place on the grid of the 2020 TCR Australia series after purchasing one of the Honda Civic Type-R cars campaigned by Wall Racing in this year’s championship.

Clemente is a former national Hyundai Excel champion and has been identified by CAMS as a future star.

He will race the very same Civic which Argentine Néstor Girolami took to a trio of race wins at Sandown earlier in the year.

Clemente got his first taste of TCR machinery at a driver evaluation day in August, when he tested one of the Hondas alongside several other drivers.

As a result, Clemente and his family-run team have elected to purchase the #38 Honda from Wall Racing outright and will run the car themselves in next year’s series with Wall Racing acting as a distributor of parts.

“The TCR Australia Series has taken off this year and the amount of support on offer from Wall Racing made the decision easy,” said Clemente, who spent three years in national-level Excel racing after graduating from karting.

“While the step to TCR is pretty daunting, there is lots to look forward to and I am really excited to get into the season.

“The team at the Australian Racing Group has been fantastic and have helped make the transition possible with the evaluation day at Winton. That was crucial in giving me the chance to see what the car was like.”

David Burn, Team Principal of Michael Clemente Motorsport, said that TCR Australia offered a national-level opportunity to showcase Clemente’s abilities.

Clemente will be eligible for the Michelin Cup prize in 2020, which offers a test with an international TCR team at the end of the year to a young up-and-coming driver.

“TCR is a category that is going places and one of the few opportunities to showcase a driver on a nationally-televised stage” said Burn.

“Michael has clearly got the talent to go further and as a team we made a decision to transition to TCR with him to support him on his journey.”