Double Victory for the Minardi F1 Test Driver, Tiago Monteiro, at Zolder
Pole Position, Circuit Record, Double Victory, Double Fastest Lap and Driver & Team Championship Lead
It was certainly a dream weekend for Tiago Monteiro at the Zolder Circuit in Belgium. After having guaranteed the Pole Position and Circuit Record in yesterday's qualifying session, Tiago Monteiro totally dominated both races, being twice the fastest driver on track and assuming the Driver & Team (with only one car) World Series by Nissan Championship lead.
At the first race of the day, Tiago Monteiro won with a 6,3 seconds advantage over Bernoldi and guaranteed the fastest lap. The crowd cheered when the Portuguese Driver performed an amazing first flying lap, 2 seconds faster than the rest of the competition. With a very strong pace, the Official Minardi F1 Test Driver, managed to gain a 0,30 seconds advantage per lap to his rival, Enrique Bernoldi, creating an amazing 8 seconds gap. "It was a fantastic race. I decided to push hard in the first laps and secured an 8 seconds advantage over Enrique Bernoldi. On the second stage of the race, taking under consideration the brake and rear tyres ware out, I chose to partially take my foot of the gas in order to assure victory. Zolder is a very demanding circuit where you can easily go off track, therefore, I tried to control the stress factor and kept a competitive rhythm. I am very happy to have won, to have secured the Pole, to have beaten the Circuit Record Lap and to have set the fastest lap during the race, in a circuit where I had never raced before. Further more, I have to thanks my Team for their commitment, the car was irreprehensible" Commented Tiago Monteiro.
At the second race, the Portuguese Driver won with a 4 seconds advantage over Kovalainen and managed, once again, to establish the fastest lap. The Carlin Motosports Team along with Tiago Monteiro made a winning strategic option when they realized that one of the adversaries, Heikki Kovalainen, was blocking their pace and swiftly decided to make the pit-stop as soon as it was allowed. When the Driver came back to the race, with no one ahead of him, he decided to make a strong attack "It was unquestionably a very competitive race. Our option to make an early pit-stop allowed me to get a clean track, establish the fastest lap and gain enough advantage to take the lead when the other drivers where making theirs. I still suffered an overtaking attempt from Kovalainen, close to the end of the race, but I managed to distance myself again and finished with a 4 seconds advantage."
At the end of a spectacular weekend at Zolder, where Tiago Monteiro was the clear centre of attentions, the Driver commented: "I am really happy for everything that we managed to achieve at Zolder, mostly because I had never raced at the Belgium Circuit before. My Team's work, Carlin Motorsports, was simply amazing, the car was super competitive and all the strategic choices that we made paid of. I would like to thank my Sponsors, many of which where present at Zolder, for all their support and my family for always being there for me. I would like to send a special thank you to all the Elements of the Minardi F1 Team which, even though facing a very busy day, kept enthusiastically updated with my performance at Zolder and where so kind as to immediately congratulate me at the end of the races"