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Tiago and his team make progress in the Netherlands

Zandvoort, 05-19-2019

Tiago Monteiro had to be content with finishing outside the points on the fourth weekend of racing in the World Touring Car Cup (WTCR). Yet the Portuguese pilot, who is sponsored by Brose, came away with a positive verdict: “I’m really pleased with the way the team worked the whole weekend. The car felt better from race to race,” said Tiago about the performance of his Honda Civic on the legendary circuit in Zandvoort in the Netherlands, where Formula 1 races will again be staged as of next season.

There were already indications in qualifying for the first race of just what great progress the KCMG outfit had made since the last weekend of racing in Slovakia. Tiago was on his way to clocking a top-ten time on his final lap, but then he risked a little too much and slid off the track. As a result, the 42-year-old unfortunately started the first race from just 25th on the grid. “Our speed today was far faster than in Slovakia. That’s a really positive sign,” was how Tiago summed up qualifying. “I risked a lot, made a mistake and so didn’t manage to capture a starting spot among the top 20 for the race.”

Tiago improves to 19th

Tiago started the first race from 25th. However, the ex-Formula 1 pilot was able to move up a few places by the finish. “The race was OK,” he said. “I got off to a good start before falling back a little. But then I was able to fight my way forward again.” Tiago was able to cross the line in 19th at the end of an eventful race, seven seconds behind 15th place, for which one point is awarded this WCTR season.

Tiago was in one of the rear starting positions for the second race and so was not able to advance as many places as in the first race. “When you start so low down, it’s nearly impossible to make any substantial progress. That’s normal, especially on this track,” said Monteiro after the race, in which he finished 23rd. Things went better for his fellow Honda pilot Esteban Guerrieri. The Argentinean won the race and now leads the WTCR drivers’ championship by eleven points after four out of the total of ten ports of call.

The third race was a conciliatory end to the days at Zandvoort for Tiago. On the picturesque race track located in the dunes directly by the North Sea, he again crossed the line in 19th, but came closer to getting into the points than he had done all weekend. He missed out on a place in the top 15 by a meager 2 seconds after clocking a time of 27:30.338 minutes. He is now looking ahead: The legendary North Loop course of the Nürburgring in the Eifel is next on the agenda in just under five weeks’ time. “The Nürburgring will hopefully be a better track for us,” stated Tiago. “I’ve had some good results in the past and there’s quite a big bank of data available to the Honda teams from the WTCC and TCR. That will all be very useful.” The races on the Nürburgring will be staged from June 20 to 22.