Monteiro on top of the heap in the Netherlands
Tiago was off to a remarkable and well remarked-upon start in the World Touring Cars Championship this weekend on the Zandvoort (Netherlands) circuit, leaving with 5 points on the board.
Tiago's adaptation to the Leon Seat and to the WTCC were in doubt, since the former Formula 1 driver had not taken part in the inaugural race at Curitiba
(Brazil) and he needed to get acquainted with his car in record time. Tiago dispelled all those doubts starting with the free sessions, where he had the best time. He demonstrated his ease behind the wheel in qualifications, where he was the fastest of the Seat drivers, took the 5th best time, 0,6s off the pole position. The exploit, of course, was welcomed by the Seat Sport challenge leadership.
With a rolling and dazzling start in the first race, Tiago climbed to 3rd place after two turns, managed to keep pace behind the Chevrolets, but lost a place to the Rangoni. Harassed by BMW driven by championship leader Augusto Farfus, Tiago defended his position tooth and nail over 12 laps and managed to cross the finish line in 4th place. "it was impossible to do any better!" the new Seat driver explained, "I battled with the Farfus, it was a fair fight and a very interesting one. The finish is extremely positive for my first participation in the WTCC, both for Seat, who is doing a great job here, and for me."
With a standing start, the second race of the weekend looked more delicate for Tiago. "I had clutch problems all weekend. They prevented me from doing any starting simulations and so it was my first on Sunday afternoon, skidded too much and instantly found myself in 9th place. My race rythm was good, but my tires were destroyed by the end of the race. I had managed to get in the points, but Porteiro pushed me into the gravel to get by! It Wasn't necessary, but it is part of the game, cars have doors and some use them more than others!"
9th at the finish, Tiago did not get through the door to the points, but filled up on good feelings and left a good impression on people's minds.
Next contest is May 19 and 20, in Valencia (Spain).