This weekend Tiago Monteiro will hit the starting grid for the 17th and 18th races of the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) on one of the most charismatic circuits in the world, Brands Hatch, which in a past life was one the linchpins in the Formula 1 World Championship.
The driver of the SEAT Leon No.18 car will make his first appearance competing on the British circuit after getting a peek at the short version of the track in 2003 while driving in the Champ Car World Series. Tiago will line up at Brands Hatch with a handicap of 30 kg, 5 kg less than at Oschersleben. SEAT Sport has not been lying around since the Oschersleben races. Tiago took part in a series of tests on the Barcelona circuit, where the work dealt with a new suspension, the braking system, as well as the use of new tire compounds. SEAT Sport is giving itself until the end of the week to analyze the data gathered at the Montmelo circuit, and will decide at the last minute which of the solutions tested will be used at Brands Hatch.
With its rises and descents, as well as its wide curves and long straightaway, the 3.703 kilometers of track making up the Brands Hatch circuit are extremely complex for the cars. It is also is a challenge for drivers who have to learn how to properly handle the linking at Paddock Hill Bend and Hawthorn, which can sometimes make possible daring overtaking.
In England, one must take into account a third parameter, the climate, which can rapidly turn to rain and cold. Forecasts for this weekend are optimistic. The skies should be clear Saturday and Sunday, but temperatures will not exceed 20C and a change in the weather would come as no surprise.
The races will be rebroadcast on Eurosport at 12:00 PM and 3:30 PM