Tiago Monteiro in the Top 10 The Portuguese driver fails to win big at the Pau Casino The years go by but do not resemble one another. Tiago Monteiro twice climbed on the podium last year, but he did not have the same success in 2008. The...
Tiago Monteiro in the Top 10
The Portuguese driver fails to win big at the Pau Casino
The years go by but do not resemble one another. Tiago Monteiro twice climbed on the podium last year, but he did not have the same success in 2008. The third round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) became a lottery in the area around the Pau Casino. Between torrential rains and unexpected improvements, the weather continuously disrupted the grip conditions of the street track. Tiago Monteiro and SEAT Sport no longer knew what wheel to dance on during the qualifying round contested over asphalt that was sometimes wet, sometimes dry.
"In testing we knew the car would be more effective if it stopped raining but we could not run the risk of setting up for a dry track and come up against qualifying in the rain. So it was a lottery;" Tiago summed up, "it's a circuit that forgives nothing and with more than ten cars in the same second the slightest alteration in set-up or tires has big consequences on performance."
In the race, all it took was three corners to sink the battle plan of the SEAT Leon No.18 car which had qualified in the top 10. A collision at the "virage du lycee" corner had a domino effect in which Tiago found himself caught up. "A car hit me and sent me onto Zanardi and several cars left crosswise. The rear of my SEAT Leon was destroyed and when the snarled pack became untangled with the help of the stewards I had lost several places and my race was already compromised."
Tiago wanted to demonstrate in the second race that neither his sporting potential nor the technical potential of his car had deserved the thirteenth-place finish in the first race. But the torrential afternoon rains thwarted his plans and the set-up of his SEAT Leon.
"My times in the first race were as good, event though I was constantly caught up in the very dense traffic in the streets of Pau. With a sliver of success I knew that I could score points in the second race but the rain washed away our plans. It was the first time that we drove in the wet conditions here and it is an experience to remember for next time."
The fourth round of the FIA WTCC will take place at Brno (Czech Republic) on June 14 and 15.
"Since the races go by but do not resemble one another I hope to find the top spots at Brno," Tiago smiled, "the positive thing is that I will have a bit less ballast onboard for the next race."