Victory at Puebla! Tiago Monteiro wins his first race in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) at Puebla, Mexico. Tiago Monteiro became the first Portuguese driver to win a race in an FIA World Championship, in Mexico, Sunday at...
Victory at Puebla!
Tiago Monteiro wins his first race in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) at Puebla, Mexico.
Tiago Monteiro became the first Portuguese driver to win a race in an FIA World Championship, in Mexico, Sunday at Puebla, the second stop in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC). The Puebla circuit was totally unfamiliar to Tiago up until late last week, but the Portuguese driver left his mark on the event by registering race track record 1:39.999s and by easily winning the second race.
Second on the starting grid for the second race, behind Alain Menu, Tiago left the Swiss driver after the start and widened the gap from mid-race to cross the finish line with 4.42 seconds' lead over second place, his SEAT Sport teammate Rickard Rydell, after sixteen race laps.
"Puebla was an unbelievable meeting. I felt during Friday's tests that I was very fast on this circuit that I did not know but which immediately gave me good sensations," Tiago explained, "Things got complicated in qualifying because of a mechanical problem with the turbo but I was able to change that during the race. SEAT Sport leaves no room for doubt and this result is the fruit of the efforts of a large team. The team deserves all the congratulations for this victory, which is my first since I became a dad. So I dedicate it to my daughter!!"
Tiago started tenth in the first race but scoffed at the traps of a slippery track to record the best race lap and to move the SEAT Leon No. 18 car up to seventh place, which enabled him to score his first two points in the championship and to take his spot on the first line of the starting grid for the second race.
Tiago scored twelve points at Puebla, but that is not the most important thing for the SEAT Sport driver.
"Now it's almost been a year since I came to the WTCC. It is one of the most competitive championships in the world where very experienced and very fast drivers race. To succeed in dominating my adversaries on a track that I did not know and which had little grip level was fantastic for me. Corners represent 60% of the track and our result proves that we have made enormous progress on the handling of the Leon TDI these last few months. Now we are going to work more to put up a good show at Valencia."
The Puebla weekend was historic in more than one respect since SEAT placed six cars in the top six places in the second race. On the podium, Tiago was joined by Rydell and Tarquini. In the first race, winner Jordi
Gene preceeded Rickard Rydell. But the big moment of the weekend was the playing of the Portuguese national anthem in Mexico, which was a first in an FIA world championship.
The next stage will take Tiago to Spain. The Valencia circuit will host the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) on from May 16 to 18.