Tiago Monteiro at Okayama The 2008 FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) is nearing the finish line. After tearing through the European circuits, the FIA WTCC convoy will make a goodbye lap through Asia. First stop is Japan, where ...
Tiago Monteiro at Okayama
The 2008 FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) is nearing the finish line. After tearing through the European circuits, the FIA WTCC convoy will make a goodbye lap through Asia. First stop is Japan, where the championship arrives for the first time in its four year existence. For Tiago Monteiro, along with the overwhelming majority of his competitors, the Okayama circuit, located in the west of the Island of Honshu, is therefore unknown to him. So, precisely forecasting which team and which car will be the best equipped for the schedule's Japanese races is in the realm of prophecy. But after closely studying the Okayama track, Tiago Monteiro thinks that the la SEAT Leon will adapt well to the demands of the Japanese circuit. "Okayama seems to me to be a circuit that presents a wide variety of situations: it has long straightaways, fast curves, and slow corners. Only one or two WTCC drivers have already raced there and therefore we will almost all be on equal footing," Tiago explained, "and based on the level of performance that we have reached on the other circuits this year, I think that SEAT will adapt quickly to the particularities of Okayama."
The first action in the latest addition to the WTCC calendar takes place on October 24. Tiago Monteiro will play an essential role in the SEAT Sport effort to consolidate its team lead, which is currently 54 points ahead of BMW. The race strategy is already established and was based on the one implemented for the past few European races. "We will work together in qualifying. The priority is to ensure good laps times and clear laps for Yvan Muller and Gabriele Tarquini, who are fighting for the title and we will then try to get a good position on the starting grid. This team work will extend to the race. My objective is to help SEAT Sport to score points in the Constructors' Championship. We are close to achieving the objectives that we set for ourselves at the start of the year, but there are still many points left to be handed out, and it is important to keep up a good level of performance until the end of the championship."
Okayama provides a unique panorama in the FIA WTCC. Surrounded by mountains, the 3,707-meter long circuit is very technical and represents a challenge for drivers and their cars.
Weather forecasts call for high temperatures between 18o.C and 20o.C , while lows should be less than 10o.C . The skies should be clear, but there is a chance of showers on Friday.
The Okayama races will be rebroadcast on Eurosport channels (satellite and cable); qualifying will be live on October 25 at 8:00AM, with the warm up pre-recorded and rebroadcast the next day at 4:45 AM and the will be races live at 5:15AM and 6:45AM.