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Richards scores Cupra TCR Australia drive

THIRD-GENERATION racer Clay Richards will be on the grid when the 2024 Supercheap Auto TCR Australia season kicks off at Sandown Raceway this weekend.

Richards, 23, has inked a deal to drive the #4 Carl Cox Motorsport Cupra León, which will be run by Melbourne Performance Centre.

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It will mark the third different TCR machine Richards has raced in as many appearances in the series, having steered an Audi and a Peugeot last year at Winton and Sandown respectively.

“To race for someone as well-known as Carl Cox, and his team, is something I’m really looking forward to and will grab with both hands,” said Richards.

“I drove the Peugeot at Sandown last year, so I’ve got some experience on what TCR is like around there.

“I’ve done a bit in the Audi as well and the Cupra is pretty similar to the Audi, it’s got the same running gear, so that’s another bonus. 

“I haven’t done a test day in the Cupra, but hopefully it will be familiar, and I can get up to speed quite quickly.

“I don’t have any expectations at the moment. I’m just going in aiming to finish every race, and every session, learn as much as we can and do the best we can.”

Richards is currently only locked in for the opening round but hopes to complete the season.

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The Cox Cupra was last year driven by TCR Australia stalwart Michael Clemente, who scored two race wins in the new machine.

Clemente recently shared via social media that a budget shortfall has prevented him from returning to the category in 2024.

“I love motorsport but it can be pretty cruel sometimes,” he wrote.

“Not what I want to share but we won’t be on the grid in TCR Australia for the first round and foreseeable future.

“We haven’t been able to secure the funding required, not due to the lack of trying but as most know it’s not an easy gig.”

Clemente added that he’s assessing other opportunities for 2024 and beyond.

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