Tiago Monteiro concluded the penultimate round of the 2013 World touring Car Championship, FIA WTCC, held here on the Suzuka circuit in Japan with a podium finish! The Portuguese driver was extremely competitive throughout practice, qualifying, warm-up and the races here on Honda's home ground, then in in the first race he was forced to retire while fighting for a place on the podium.
After a brief stint across the grass, he returned to the track in 8th place. "We had to gain places on the first lap because it would have been a lot more complicated later on," explained Monteiro. "I took a risk, and it didn't pay off. I have no regrets because we put on a beautiful display."
On the 19th of 26 laps, Tiago was the victim of an attack by Oriola who he had been putting pressure on for fifteen laps.when the Spanish racer closed the door and left no room for Tiago to go through, forcing him into the tires on the inside of the kerb. Oriola was punished with a drive through penalty while Tiago was forced to retire with a severely damaged car. "Oriola did not leave me enough room and I had no other choice than to hit the tires and the race was over for me!"
The target was to then return the Honda Civic #18 to the pits so it could be repaired in time for the second race.
Tiago made an excellent start once again and was soon up into fourth place behind his team-mate Gabriele Tarquini. He passed the Italian on lap 12 and finished the race on the third step of the podium. "Even after losing a lot of time behind Gabriele I tried to get close to the first two, but it was too late, " said Tiago.
"This third place is a good result and despite my retirement in the first race, it was a very positive weekend. The team, the car and the drivers were very competitive. We did well in developing the car and it is very rewarding."
The next and final round of the FIA WTCC will take place on November 3rd in Shanghai (China).