First podium of the season for Monteiro in Slovakia

The Portuguese driver Tiago Monteiro completed the race closely behind eventual race winner, team-mate Gabriele Tarquini.

Honda, JAS Motorsport and its drivers shone in the third round of the World Touring Car Championship, WTCC, held on the Slovakia Ring, 40 km from Bratislava, this weekend.

The remarkable performance of Tiago Monteiro in qualifying was confirmed when the Portuguese driver secured his first podium finish of the season in race one.

Tiago Monteiro and Gabriele Tarquini
Tiago Monteiro and Gabriele Tarquini

Photo by: XPB Images

The Honda Civic # 18 driver completed the race closely behind eventual race winner, team-mate Gabriele Tarquini while Hungarian racer, Norbert Michelisz, completed Honda's triumph by finishing on the third step of the podium.

Tiago took care and saved his tires, the track registering more than 40°C, the hottest and most abrasive it had been all weekend... "I could have pushed a little bit more, but it would have been difficult to pass because Gabriele had the same pace.

Norbert put pressure on me in the final laps, but I preferred not to ask too much of my tires. Last year there were several punctures when they were pushed to the limit and I didn't want to take that risk," said Tiago. "This first podium of the season with Honda has a very special taste!"

Due to the reverse grid rule, the second race saw Tiago start from ninth place. He had a flying start and emerged from the first corner in 3rd.

However, Yvan Muller made contact with him at the start of the second lap and although he was able to control his Honda Civic, Tiago fell back down to 7th place. By the end of the race he made up two places to finish fifth overall.

An excellent weekend in Slovakia has borne fruit with Tiago scoring 32 points and moving into eighth place in the championship. "I could not be happier. It was a great weekend for me, for Honda and for the entire Jas Motorsport team.

My thanks and congratulations to all!" Monteiro said, "We scored a lot of points today and have achieved a good result for the championship."

For Tiago, the only disappointment in Slovakia was the loss of three places after a collision caused by Yvan Muller while fighting for a podium finish in race two. "After a good start, I was able to fight for the podium and I did not appreciate the attack, which was too optimistic.

I have already expressed my displeasure to Yvan. After falling to 7th place, my job was then very difficult but I passed two opponents and finished 5th, Despite this, it was still a good result and the race was definitely interesting.

We must continue to work hard as the Honda Civic still has room for improvement. We are on the right track, but are still far from having completed our development work."

The next race of the FIA WTCC will take place on the 5th of May in Budapest, Hungary.

Tiago Monteiro

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About this article
Series WTCC
Article type Race report
Tags honda, monteiro, slovakiaring, tarquini, wtcc

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