The final weekend of racing in the World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) was typical of Tiago Monteiro’s season as a whole: a very mixed bag. In the final event of the 2020 season, which had been shortened to six weekends due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Portuguese pilot, who is sponsored by Brose, suffered a bitter disappointment and was forced to retire, but was able to capture another top-ten placement. “It's been a season with some very good moments and also some very tough ones – we had a bit of everything,” was how the Honda pilot summed up a year in which he finished 15th in the drivers’ championship, level on points with his long-time rival Gabriele Tarquini (Hyundai).
However, his own ranking in 2020 was only of minor importance for him on the MotorLand Aragon track: His prime goal was to help his teammate Esteban Guerrieri win the title. “The main thing today was to try everything we could to give Esteban his championship title,” said Tiago. “Unfortunately, it didn't work out.” The Argentinean from the ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport team won the first of three races in the season finale but was forced to withdraw in the second after a collision and so had to bury all his title hopes this year. The French driver Yann Ehrlacher (Lynk & Co.) came top of the overall standings.
Tiago finishes in the top ten despite bitter withdrawal
As in the penultimate weekend of racing on the same track 14 days previously, the Honda cars again found the going tough from the outset. Tiago had a difficult time in the qualifying on Saturday and finally captured 16th spot. In the first race, however, the ex-Formula 1 pilot once more displayed his driving skills and tactical nous. Whereas most of his rivals opted for slicks on the still slightly damp track, the 44-year-old had wet tires put on his rear axle.
He knew from the experience he had gained from pre-season test runs on this track that the asphalt only dries very slowly. His decision proved right: Tiago picked off car after car and was well on the way to finishing among the top eight at the least. However, he had problems with his steering wheel on the penultimate lap and had to retire.
Yet in the second race, he managed to achieve what he had failed to do in the first. After another strong performance, the car’s mechanics did not let him down and he crossed the line in a more than respectable tenth spot. And he followed that up by finishing 12th in the final race of the season. Even though the season as a whole certainly did not go as he would have wanted, he was still able to continue an impressive series: His second place in Budapest in October means that he has been on the podium at least once in every full season since he launched his career in the world touring car series in 2007. We congratulate him warmly on that achievement and hope he has another successful season next year.