Tiago Monteiro is Runner up in the World Series by Nissan and Rookie of the Year
A win for a perfect close to the season
Tiago Monteiro had a great weekend in the last session of the World Series by Nissan in Jerez de la Frontera (Spain) winning the last race of the season and also scoring second place in the first race.
With the second place in the championship still undecided, the Portuguese driver had to finish the first race ahead of Enrique Bernoldi to guarantee this position. In the qualifying for both races Tiago made sure he had a place in the front row of the grid, which was half way to ensuring a good result. In the race: "I started very well and tried to pass Kovalainen on the inside breaking for the first corner, but he closed the door and I had to go on the outside. I knew he had new tyres, so I had to go all out in the first laps while my tyres were still fresh."
With his main rival in the fight for second place in the World Series a fair way behind, Tiago Monteiro adapted his strategy: "Not to let Kovalainen escape, but to maintain a pace without taking too many risks as I had to hold onto my place to achieve my objectives. I am happy with another podium appearance, and also for being the best Rookie of the season."
For the closing race of the 2004 season, Tiago Monteiro again shared the front row on the starting grid with the Finn Kovalainen: "I pulled away very well again and kept second place. Managed to follow Kovalainen but he had new tyres on and therefore gaining two to three tenths on me per lap. The Pit-Stop went well in the 11th lap and when I got back on track I kept the second place closer to the leader. After, at just five laps from the finish I saw Kovalainen go into the boxes, so I went ahead in the race. I afterwards heard he had been penalised for an error."
Tiago Monteiro inherited the lead, but he was just already under two seconds behinh Kovalainen and was catching up, as he says: "On other occasions I was unlucky and the others made the most of it. It was good to close the season on top, with a win and a second place." said the driver from Porto, second in the World Series, with five wins and also being the best Rookie for 2004.