This external link is not available in presentation mode.

To the top


Tiago remains optimistic despite not getting among the points

Bratislava, 05-12-2019

Like two weeks ago on the Hungaroring near Budapest, Tiago Monteiro again had to be content with finishing outside the points on the Slovakia Ring. Yet the third weekend of racing in the World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) got off to a pretty promising start for the Portuguese pilot, who is sponsored by Brose. In the first free training on the almost six-kilometer circuit, the 42-year-old clocked the seventh-best time of 2:11.714 minutes and so finished in the top 10 – just a little over seven tenths of a second slower than the best time set by his former teammate Norbert Michelisz.

Yet the Honda pilot only managed to come 21st in the first qualifying, despite improving by sixth tenths of a second over his performance in training: The individual drivers and teams are so evenly matched this year that just a few hundredths of a second can make a big difference. “Compared to Hungary, we were able to reduce the gap between the top drivers in qualifying – and over a longer track, too. But just about everyone drives the same lap times, so that didn’t help us move up,” summed up Tiago.

The pilot from the KCMG team also failed to finish among the top 20 in the second qualifying and so had to start the first race from 21st on the grid. He then displayed his driving skills to great effect once again and was even heading for a place in the points at one stage. However, his Honda Civic then suffered a slow puncture, probably caused by debris on the track, and so he was unable to finish in the first 15. The ex-Formula 1 pilot had to be satisfied with 17th spot in the end.

Tiago gets closer and closer to the points

Tiago also finished 17th in races two and three. However, he got closer and closer to a place among the points with each race. In the first race he was just under two seconds off 15th spot, but in the second – in which his fellow Honda pilots Nestor Girolami and Esteban Guerrireri took first and second – that gap was barely 1.3 seconds, and in the final race he missed out on the points by little over half a second. “It was a tough weekend,” said Tiago. “The races were full of action, just like in Hungary. There was again a lot of contact during them. I was hit so often and also had to defend myself against that.”

The only way to keep out of the fierce tussles for position in the tightly bunched pack in the middle of the field was to capture a better position in qualifying, he stressed. “If we could qualify for the front of the grid again, like in Morocco, we could also pick up some points once more,” said Tiago. “We’re not miles away from the front-runners. We just have to improve in a number of areas as regards qualifying. Then we can achieve better placements again.” However, there is not much time left for that: The next races will be held in Zandvoort in the Netherlands this weekend. Tiago will then have the next chance to add to his current haul of 20 points.