Despite the enormous difference, neither Tiago Monteiro nor his team are the least bit worried. SEAT Sport's Portuguese driver and the Oreca team compete all year at the WTCC as part of the SEAT structure in typical sheer speed races such as at...
Despite the enormous difference, neither Tiago Monteiro nor his team are the least bit worried. SEAT Sport's Portuguese driver and the Oreca team compete all year at the WTCC as part of the SEAT structure in typical sheer speed races such as at the World Championship, which last on average 24 to 25 minutes. This weekend however, the driver and his team will have to come to terms with switching from sprinting to enduring at a mythical race such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Tiago will be competing at the French event at the wheel of an Oreca prototype equipped with an AIM engine, registered in the LMP1 category, alongside team-mates Bruno Senna, Ayrton Senna's nephew, and Sephane Ortelli, the driver from Monaco who raced for SEAT Sport at the WTCC in 2005. This will be Senna's first incursion in the 24 Hours, and the third for Tiago, who participated in 1999 and 2001, while Ortelli is a veteran of the race, with twelve participations and one victory.
Tiago is looking forward to the opportunity of doing his best at Le Mans. He said "I'm very happy for the chance at returning to Le Mans with a high standard car. Years ago I raced at the GT but now everything has changed and it's a lot more exciting. I'd like to thank SEAT for letting me compete at this race in the middle of the WTCC season. Of course, Le Mans requires a completely different driving style than the WTCC. You have to settle on thinking of the car first, without attacking out of the first bend, and keeping a cool head. I'm sure the experience is going to be very interesting."
Starting at seven o'clock this evening, the first official training sessions are taking place to determine the starting grid of next Saturday's race, which is scheduled to start at 3 p.m.
After competing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Tiago and his SEAT Sport team-mates will be getting ready for the sixth World Touring Car Championship meeting on June 21st in Brno, the Czech Republic, where the SEAT Leon TDI units will be competing on one of the most gruelling tracks on the WTCC calendar. They aim to stay in the lead of the drivers' and manufacturers' classifications, which they have held since the beginning of the season.