Tiago Monteiro shines at wet Anderstorp! A Pole Position, a second place in the first race, and the best comeback in the second race! For the second time in the six meetings of the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) in which he has...
Tiago Monteiro shines at wet Anderstorp!
A Pole Position, a second place in the first race, and the best comeback in the second race!
For the second time in the six meetings of the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) in which he has taken part, Tiago Monteiro scored the most points of any driver this weekend at Anderstorp (Sweden). The driver of the SEAT Leon No. 18 car drew his inspiration from the streets of the historic circuit beginning with the first free sessions - he racked up the two fastest laps on both sessions, on a dry track - and solidified it in qualifying in wet conditions, taking SEAT Sport's - and his - first pole position of the season. "I immediately found my reference points on a circuit that I wasn't at all familiar with. My team provided me with a perfect car for all conditions and the agility of the Leon's chassis worked wonders on both dry and wet pavement! I felt really confident!" Tiago explains.
Paradoxically, the rain did not come during the right meeting for Tiago Monteiro. Indeed, while slippery conditions theoretically level the playing field and perhaps compensate for the Leon's weak area (power) compared to its competitors, the SEAT Sport car was extremely effective on the dry track at Anderstorp. "I was hoping that the race would be dry because I knew we were fastest in dry conditions," Tiago adds, "but the shower that fell before the race forced us to take some risks. I took off with rain tires and the car set up for a dry track. So obviously The start of the race was difficult. It was a waiting period where you couldn't make a mistake and had to patiently stay on the track, waiting for the track to dry."
Handicapped at the start of the race, Tiago lost two places in three laps but maintained a cool head. Waiting for the right moment to pick up the pace, the Portuguese driver reclaimed second place, then rapidly bridged the eight-second gap to the leader and crossed the finish line on his heels. "The finish was a bit frustrating because we were the fastest, but the podium is a nice reward for the whole team," Tiago explains, "I was three seconds faster than the leader and if the race had been a few corners longer, I definitely would have brought home our first win."
Starting seventh on the starting grid for the second race, due to the reverse grid, Tiago and SEAT Sport gambled again, this time on dry tires. "We thought that the track would be dry quickly, but it took longer than expected," Tiago admits. "I lost a lot of places in the early laps and dropped as far back as twelfth after a few laps, but once the racing line dried up the Leon was superb and I was able to attack again. From twelfth I made it back up to sixth place and, once again, if the race had been a little longer, we would have had a shot at a podium. The overall result is very satisfying since I was the driver to score the most points at Anderstorp. There is just one last step on the podium separating us from victory and I hope we will climb atop it very soon."
Jaime Puig, SEAT Sport Managing director confirms this success : " We are very satisfied with Tiago's work! He has been the fastest SEAT all week end, and gave us our very first Pole Position this year. He also scored the most points this week end which helps us stay competitive for the World Championship! It's a great motivation for the whole team. Well done! "