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First Supercars drive for Trans Am teen

Teenage Trans Am sensation Elliott Cleary had his first taste of a Gen3 Supercar during sponsor rides at Sandown yesterday.

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Cleary joined Team 18's pool of drivers for the ride day in Melbourne, first experiencing Scott Pye's #20 Gen3 Camaro from the passenger seat with the co-driver Warren Luff at the wheel.

He then jumped behind the wheel himself for a handful of passenger runs to mark his first outing in a Gen3 Supercar.

"It was an amazing experience," Cleary told Motorsport.com.

"It's obviously a bit different to what I'm used to but the car was amazing to drive. By the end I felt like I was getting the hang of it. It was such a cool opportunity."

Cleary was able to draw on some of his Trans Am experience for the new low-downforce Supercar, although admitted there are still some stark differences between the two platforms.

"Yes and no," he said if it felt familiar at all. "There are some similarities in the way the cars move around, but how the Supercar gets the power down, and how it turns, is quite different to the Trans Am car."

Cleary is on a rapid rise in motorsport, having only started karting in his early teens.

Since then he has graduated to cars, dominating the WA Formula Ford Series in 2022 before stepping up to national Trans Am with The Racing Academy.

There have been some promising rookie results so far, including leading a race at Queensland Raceway that was later red flagged and not restarted.

As well as racing he is also working part-time at Team 18 and was working in the tyre tent for the Sandown 500 and will be again for the Bathurst 1000.

"They are an amazing crew to learn from and [team manager] Bruin [Beasley] is a great support," said Cleary.

"I went from working in the tyre tent to driving a Supercar in 24 hours, which is pretty cool."

Beasley was left singing Cleary's praises after the brief outing.

“Elliott was fantastic," he said. "He did everything we asked of him. It was only a handful of passenger laps at the end of our ride day, but he didn’t do anything silly out on track and exceeded our expectations for the little time he had to get up to speed with the assistance of Scott [Pye] and Luffy.

“He’s a great young kid and this was a reward for the time he’s already spent us which started a couple of months ago helping in the workshop one day a week, as well as landing a hand to the team across the weekend at Sandown."

Teen Supercars hopeful Elliott Cleary.

Teen Supercars hopeful Elliott Cleary.

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