Bitter ending in Brands Hatch Continuity of a high level in the FIA World touring Car Championship (WTCC) has been one of Tiago Monteiro's assets this summer, however in Brands Hatch this weekend, the Portuguese SEAT and SR-Sport ...
Bitter ending in Brands Hatch
Continuity of a high level in the FIA World touring Car Championship (WTCC) has been one of Tiago Monteiro's assets this summer, however in Brands Hatch this weekend, the Portuguese SEAT and SR-Sport driver unfortunately saw this feature come to an end.
Two weeks after his victory at home in Portimao, Tiago only secured two points thanks to a 9th place finish in the first race. Tiago showed that together with his SEAT Leon TDI #3 they were a balanced and competitive package at the beginning of the British weekend by displaying a good performance in free practice, (4th) and qualifying (6th in the first session, 7th on the starting grid) despite obvious domination from Chevrolet on the Brands Hatch circuit.
However, the weekend's final point tally took shape in the final kilometers of the first race, when Andy Priaulx surprised Tiago by a not very orthodox overtaking manoeuvre which forced the Portuguese racer to give up 8th place, and therefore pole position of the second race. "I was defending myself and was even attacking, to try to climb to 7th when Priaulx made a move on me. He knew there was no way two cars could go side by side into this particular section and that most likely I would be the victim of the manoeuvre," Tiago explained, "And that's exactly what happened and I'm frustrated because of it. 8th position is a very important one with the reverse grid order rule and the fight for it is often fierce, but it's part of the game. In Brands Hatch I started off on the right foot but things got worse and worse."
Tiago took his place on the inside of the 5th row of the starting grid for the second race, entangled in a tight group where contact is frequent and was numerous in race two. Come the first lap and one of them caused Tiago's retirement when his rear wheel-axle unit was damaged following a collision with Norbert Michelisz.
It was the end of a weekend that left Tiago with a less than profitable points total, however he refuses to lose contact with the leaders of the championship. "The performance is there and in a championship which is so close you need to gather all the pieces of the puzzle and stay away from the chaos. This weekend, the mayhem always came from behind and once it was triggered I could not do anything to avoid the consequences. It's time to focus on the next races. We just entered the second half of the championship and a lot of things can still happen. With this points system the classification can be upside down from one weekend to another. Brands Hatch's scenario was not nice to me but nothing's over," guaranteed Tiago.
The FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) will dispute their 13th and 14th races on the weekend of August 1 on the Czech circuit of Brno where Tiago finished on the podium last year.