Pau: Tiago Monteiro preview

Monteiro has one aim in Pau: Points The World Touring Car Championship arrives on European soil next weekend, for the 7th and 8th races of the 2009 season. On the street circuit of Pau (France), where he has stood on the podium at the time twice...

Monteiro has one aim in Pau: Points

The World Touring Car Championship arrives on European soil next weekend, for the 7th and 8th races of the 2009 season. On the street circuit of Pau (France), where he has stood on the podium at the time twice in his first season in WTCC back in 2007, Tiago Monteiro's goal for the coming weekend is to secure a strong points haul to help consolidate SEAT Sport's lead in the manufacturers championship. Once again, the Leon TDI will have an extra 40 kg of ballast and Tiago knows that even if the extra weight had not been too penalizing on the long straights of Marrakech, it will be more problematic on a street layout. "The circuit of Pau is very demanding both for car and drivers and this year with the 40kg ballast, it will be all the more crucial to take care of our tyres, which tend to wear very quickly. Plus, the car's behaviour will be different into the curves, but I'm confident we'll find a good set-up. One thing is for sure: we won't be the favourite in Pau, the sporting rules are not allowing it!"

After having secured points in the two Moroccan races, the SEAT Leon TDI number five has one main objective, to show consistency. Tiago stresses the importance of a successful qualifying session when it comes to securing those points, but like last year, the weather could play the joker in Pau. "In 2008, the first race was sunny whereas the track was flooded in the second and almost became a lake! In Pau, conditions can rapidly change at this time of year and if it rains in qualifying, the starting grid will be a lottery. This is just hypothetical but you have to be prepared for any circumstance. There's no margin for error in Pau. It is a sinuous track but at the same time it is fast and overtaking manoeuvres have to be really well calculated. I think the races should be well balanced, but we'll have to fight hard to thwart the ballast handicap."

Weather forecasters predict that the climate will be very unstable in Pau. For Saturday May 16, for practice and qualifying, rain is expected with a maximum temperature lower than 20o.C. On Sunday May 17, the sun should be shining and temperatures should climb a little. The WTCC races will be broadcasted live on Eurosport. Qualifying will take place on Saturday at 16:00 on Eurosport one with the warm-up at 8:00on Sunday with races at 11:45 and 13:45 UK time.

-credit: tiagomonteiro.com

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Series WTCC
Drivers Tiago Monteiro