Tiago Monteiro ends season on the podium
Portuguese Driver reaches his goal and is 5th in the final rankings of the FIA WTCC
Tiago Monteiro completed the 2010 FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) in 5th place in the driver's rankings and on the podium of the season finale this weekend at Macau. On the most complex circuit on the calendar, Tiago was the only driver able to compete with the Chevrolet outfit which monopolized the first three places on the starting grid.
With a SEAT Leon TDI that was perfectly balanced by his SR-Sport team and thanks to the second fastest top speed in qualifying, Tiago qualified his SEAT Leon TDI on the outside of the second row of the grid. Making an excellent start, he was then able to put Alain Menu under pressure. While trying to resist, the Swiss driver made an error allowing Tiago to seize 3rd place before attacking world champion, Yvan Muller.
"I was a bit faster than Yvan but he's no world champion by chance! He did not do the least mistake andhis top speed was slightly better than mine and allowed him to stay away from any attack in the crucial braking zones," explained Tiago. The Guia circuit lived up to its reputation with a troubled race and the last lap spent behind the security car. "It was a crazy race on a crazy track and I'm disappointed Andre Couto was trapped in the first lap accident. I dedicate this podium to his family who went through drama two weeks ago," revealed Tiago, paying respect to the driver from Macau who also competed with team SEAT.
At the start of the second race, Tiago was in 6th place before having to quickly avoid the Chevrolet of Alain Menu who had stalled on the grid. Slowed down by this, he dropped to 7th place before moving up once again after the safety car period when he passed Poulsen at the Lisbonne corner. Together with Yvan Muller and Rob Huff, Tiago then found himself blocked behind Augusto Farfus. "We were faster than him but it is never easy to overtake in such a competitive championship. This is especially true at Macau and with Farfus! His bumper was falling down and when I was right behind him I had to attack him but also to make sure I didn't run over the bumper that could have punctured my tyre. In the end, I was hampered and the two drivers who were behind me got past."
Tiago's 5th podium enabled him to move up a place in the overall classification to see him finish the season in 5th position. "I used my experience to improve a lot during my fourth season in the World Touring Car Championship. I was helped by a great team, SR-Sport, as well as by SEAT, and with them I was able to win two races and secure five podiums. I always fought with the frontrunners and without a few incidents, for which I was not responsible, I think I could have fought for the title most of the season. I want to thank SEAT and SR-Sport for this fantastic season."