A bad day at the office in Oschersleben Tiago Monteiro and SEAT Sport in damage limitation mode Tiago Monteiro endured one of the hardest race weekends of his career in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) this weekend at Oschersleben.
A bad day at the office in Oschersleben
Tiago Monteiro and SEAT Sport in damage limitation mode
Tiago Monteiro endured one of the hardest race weekends of his career in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) this weekend at Oschersleben. After qualifying in last position in a session that turned out to be a true lottery due to wet conditions, the Portuguese driver made his way up to ninth place in the second race, after starting nineteenth. However, following contact with Alain Menu, he lost three places in the final kilometres, leaving him to cross the finish line in 12th place.
26th to 12th, his progression was solid, but the overall assessment was not positive for SEAT Sport or its driver. But, the Oporto pilot tried his best to look on the bright side... "There's an English expression that goes 'Bad day at the office'. The second race was going well, especially if you keep in mind that I had to start from the bottom of the grid. I climbed up to 9th position and I was aiming for a point when a contact with Alain Menu on the last lap made me lose three positions. I discussed it with Alain because he's a gentleman on the track and he told me he out-braked himself, locked wheels and could not avoid the collision. Luck escaped us the entire weekend," Tiago explained.
The first race had already set the tone. Last on the grid, Tiago had been aiming to move up as many places as possible in order to be well placed for the second race. Alas, he was just one of the many drivers to suffer from a scuffle on the first lap. "I made a good start and initially avoided the chaos in the first turn, but just when I thought I was through the worst, Jordi Gene was suddenly stuck in front of me and I could do nothing to avoid him. The contact was not hard, but it was enough to force me into the pits. Starting from the last row I knew I needed a bit of luck to catch up, but it never came. The drive shaft was severely damaged and the pit crew did a fantastic job of fixing it in time for the second race."
The Oschersleben weekend offered very contrasting results for SEAT Sport. The WTCC championship leader, Yvan Muller, together with Rickard Rydell and Jordi Gene, suffered from the same handicap as Tiago while Gabriele Tarquini managed to stand on the podium in both races. As a result, the Italian has now become the new leader of the drivers' championship. Tiago stresses that... "The team limited the damage on a track that suits BMW. Yvan Muller is the one who suffered the most as he is not leading the championship anymore, instead it is another SEAT Sport driver, Gabriele Tarquini, who is now in command and that's important for the team."
SEAT Sport remains at the head of the manufacturers championship, two points ahead of BMW and Tarquini leads Augusto Farfus by one point in the drivers championship.
The WTCC will enter its final European straight in two weeks on the Imola circuit.