Monteiro shines through the Swedish clouds Even the heavy Swedish rain can't put a dampener on the spirits of Portugal's Tiago Monteiro, it seems. After being fastest in both free practice sessions, Monteiro then scored both his first pole ...
Monteiro shines through the Swedish clouds
Even the heavy Swedish rain can't put a dampener on the spirits of Portugal's Tiago Monteiro, it seems. After being fastest in both free practice sessions, Monteiro then scored both his first pole position for SEAT Sport and the team's first qualified pole of the season. Tiago's last-minute grab of pole position was just one highlight of the 30-minute qualifying session for SEAT Sport, as Jordi Gene qualified a superb 6th in the first public appearance of the new TDI-engined Leon.
The other turbodiesel SEAT Sport car, that of Yvan Muller, starts round 13 of the FIA World Touring Car Championship from 14th on the grid after transmission problems, while Gabriele Tarquini will start from 7th and Michel Jourdain Jr from 19th after both drivers were caught out by being on wet tyres on a drying track.
In addition, the fastest Independent driver was Roberto Colciago, whose Leon qualified in 8th position. A ten-place penalty imposed after an incident in Porto, however, means the Italian driver drops to 18th on the grid.
Tiago Monteiro (SEAT Leon no. 18): "I'm absolutely delighted, I have to say. Nigel Clyde, my engineer, did a great job to set the car up so well and so my thanks to him and the whole team. The car worked really well this morning and so I was hoping it would stay dry because it's such a lottery in the rain, but I took a few risks in the last few laps and it all worked out. I was the last to cross the line, I think."
Jordi Gene (SEAT Leon TDI no. 9): "It was a very changeable session, with wet, damp, then some dry patches. I was happy with my first few laps, but then it was very slippery after I changed tyres and so I wondered if there was a problem with one of the tyre pressures. I pushed hard at the end and P6 is a reasonable position in a new car; it's not as agile as the petrol car, but there's a long way to go in its development."
Gabriele Tarquini (SEAT Leon no. 11): "I was in pole position until about ten minutes from the end of the session but unfortunately I was on the wrong tyres for the last laps and I lost lots of places. If it's dry tomorrow, the BMWs will be a lot stronger than they were today; I like rain, so it won't be a problem for me if it's wet."
Yvan Muller (SEAT Leon TDI no. 12): "The car's driveshaft broke and there was no chance for me to make it back to the pitlane. When I stopped, I think I was in the top three but the track was drying. There was no way I could have been on pole - I'm about a hundred kilos heavier than Tiago - but I could have been top five for sure."
Michel Jourdain Jr (SEAT Leon no. 10): "I don't know why the session was so bad for me. We were okay in the first few laps and when we changed to a fresh set of tyres, it was just terrible. I'm very disappointed because I think we should have been much better in the rain. In fact, I'm hoping for rain tomorrow to help me out a little."