Two weeks after his successful showing at the Nürburgring, Tiago Monteiro again finished among the ten fastest pilots in the World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), this time on the Slovakia Ring. In the second race on the track near the Slovakian capital Bratislava, the Portuguese driver, who is sponsored by Brose, crossed the line in ninth to celebrate what is already his third top-ten placement this season – after capturing 13th spot and so four points in the first race. He was forced to withdraw in the third race with two laps to go due to damage to his Honda Civic.
“In race one I felt really comfortable with the slick/wet tire combination,” said Tiago about the opener on the Sunday, when the track was still a little damp after it had rained during the night. “It was good to feel like we were faster than the drivers around us. But when you start outside the top ten it’s always difficult,” added Tiago. The ex-Formula 1 pilot narrowly missed advancing to Q2 in the Saturday qualifying session and had to be content with 13th position. “The car felt very strong in the infield section. But when you lose four-tenths of a second on the straight, that’s naturally too much,” explained the 44-year-old from the ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport team.
Tiago finishes ninth after a great pursuit
After missing out on a top-ten placement in the first race, he achieved that goal thanks to a great effort to make up ground in the second race. “That was my best result. Despite dropping back shortly after the start, I made some good overtakes and took advantage of some incidents,” was how Tiago analyzed his strong performance.
However, his thoughts were also with his teammate Nestor Girolami. The Argentinean was touched by another driver at the start of the final lap, as a result of which he lost control of his car at high speed and then slammed into the side barrier. “I was really worried about Nestor's crash. I’m very relieved now that he’s fine,” said Tiago. Girolami was taken to hospital after the accident as a precaution, but was discharged on the Sunday evening and was able to return to the track.
In the meantime, the third race on the Slovakia Ring was staged. Here, too, Tiago held on to a position among the points for a long time after getting off to a very good start, before a collision dashed all his hopes of another top-ten finish. “Under braking somebody touched another car, which touched me. We did our best, but in the end we had to retire the car with radiator damage,” said Tiago, who is now 15th in the drivers’ championship after three out of six weekends of racing. The next port of call in the WTCR is in just a week’s time on the Hungaroring near Budapest. We wish Tiago all the best and every success.