Tiago Monteiro bid his farewell to the Formula 3 category in this past weekend’s Korean Grand Prix at the wheel of his Dallara F399 Renault of the ASM Elf Team. Upon having the Pole Position at his mercy, Monteiro ended up starting from third, but was unfortunate in the race results, where his performance was jeopardized by incidents with other drivers influencing his last F.3 race. Tiago Monteiro is nourishing the thought of his soon-to-be Formula 3000 testing at Estoril on Wednesday with the Super Nova team.
With an excellent package of drivers, composed by the best classified in the main Formula 3 championships worldwide, an in addition to drivers from superior categories such as Formula 3000 and Formula Nippon, the Korean Super Prix was stage (much like Macau), to two confusing races, caused by accidents in result of aggressive behavior of some drivers. Tiago Monteiro had his race ruined once more by Italian driver Enrico Troccacelo, who denied the overtake and hit Monteiro, causing irreparable damage to the car and forcing the Portuguese driver to the pits.
“ I would have preferred a more graceful farewell to the Formula 3. One that would reflect my performance on track, and the ASM Elf’s inside the pits. I was constantly among the fastest, but as before, my result was compromised by anti-sportive behavior on track. The mechanics were forced to a supplementary effort, and I had to maximize my performance in the second race, repeating what happened last week in Macau”.
In the pits, the ASM mechanics did an amazing job of putting Monteiro’s car back together, but back on track, another situation occurred:“ When I came into the pits to repair the car, there was an accident and the Safety Car went in, privileging me. As I was leaving the pit lane, the commissaries forced me to wait for 50 seconds at the end of the pit lane until the Safety Car passed the grid straight. What the commissaries did was quite illegal and they obviously have no knowledge of the international regulations on this matter”.
With the race lost, Monteiro still ran the second fastest lap of the race, as a sign of gratefulness to the hard work of the ASM Elf team mechanics who did an excellent and professional work.
During the second race, Monteiro started from mid-grid, and recovered formidably during the first laps, but was abruptly interrupted by Brazilian driver João Paulo Oliveira at the track’s only area of possible overtake. The South American’s bump on Monteiro’s car provoked an accident and put Monteiro once again out of the race.
“ My goal in this second race was to fight for the leading positions. It was running great up until the intervention of other drivers, who did not contribute on a positive level to my farewell to the Team and the category in which I progressed professionally. I will surely miss my“ second family”, but much like they did with Jonathan Cochet (F.3000) and André Couto (F.Nippon), among others, I might be that I will be back for Macau and Korea in 2002. Staring now, I will solely concentrate on adapting to the Formula 3000 for the Wednesday testing at Estoril with the Super Nova Team”, remarked the Portuguese driver, who immediately returns from the Orient, arriving in Lisbon tomorrow noon and driving directly to the Estoril track where he will come about the Super Nova Team, managed by David Sears, who has prepared a test session with the Lola T 99/50 for Tiago Monteiro.
2000 European champ, and current Formula 1 test driver for the Prost Grand Prix, Jonathan Cochet, won this year’s edition of the Korean Super Prix, followed by Andy Priaulx and Benoit Trelouier.
Overall Standings for the Korean Super Prix: 1st Jonathan Cochet, 24 laps in 30m 32.559s at an average speed of 142.102 Km/h; 2nd Andy Priaulx, at 4.1s; 3rd Benoit Treluyer, at 6.1s; 4th Derek Hayes, at 8.9s; 5th Bruce Jouanny, at 9.2s...