SEAT Sport renews its confidence in Tiago Monteiro for the 2008 FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC)
Tiago Monteiro will be part of SEAT Sport's main assets in the 2008 FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC). The Oporto born driver will be at the wheel of a SEAT Leon TDI and will battle for the drivers' and constructors' championships. For Tiago, who was totally integrated into the team in 2007 after entering the championship already underway, this second season will mean a greater challenge and increased responsibility behind the wheel of a more powerful car.
Jaime Puig didn't hide his satisfaction in being able to count on Tiago in 2008 saying : "Tiago is a fast and complete driver, his driving style brings a communicative emotion," emphasized the SEAT Sport director, "I was greatly impressed by Tiago's professionalism in 2007. He fulfilled his mission and adapted quickly to the WTCC despite the handicap of having been forced to sit out the first races of the championship. Tiago brought satisfaction to the SEAT team at all levels and it considers him a fundamental driver for reaching its goals which are the drivers' and constructors' titles."
The solidity of the SEAT project is reflected by Jaime Puig's gamble, which in addition to Tiago, will also count on Yvan Muller, Jordi Gene, and Gabriele Tarquini in 2008. The team's fifth driver will be Ryckard Rydell, who will join SEAT next year.
After the announcement Tiago explained :"I am proud and happy that SEAT has placed its confidence in me and that it is letting me take part in its ambitious WTCC project. As an auto-racing professional, it is important to constantly place yourself at the highest level and that's the case with a factory team like SEAT, which has the structure and competitiveness needed to succeed. The future is promising because SEAT has done a remarkable job in terms of both competition and communication. I have made some new friends at SEAT, and I learned a lot about the WTCC which is one of the highest-level international championships. There aren't many! I am sure that the experience gained in 2007 will help me in my second year in this category and I will do everything to battle for the very leading places next year. I would like to thank SEAT Sport, SEAT Portugal, as well as my loyal personal sponsors and all those who have supported me in my competitive project."
In 2007 Tiago demonstrated that he has the potential to fulfill the SEAT Sport objective by climbing the podium three times and starting in the pole position. SEAT battled for both the drivers' and constructors' titles up until the last race at Macau, and Isabel Videira, SEAT communications director declared that "It's an honor to have a Portuguese driver like Tiago in the World Touring Car Championship."
An honor shared by Terese Lameiras, SEAT Portugal manager, who said "We are proud that Tiago is representing Portugal with SEAT. He wonderfully translates SEAT's ambitions in the field of auto racing."
The 2008 World Touring Car Championship will kick off on March 3 at Curitiba, Brazil. It will include 11 two-race stages and will finish on November 16 at Macau.