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WTCR: Tiago out of the points on the Hungaroring

Budapest, 04-28-2019

After his successful start to the season in Marrakesh, Tiago Monteiro experienced a checkered weekend at the second port of call in the World Touring Car Cup (WTCR). The 42-year-old failed to get into the points on the Hungaroring near Budapest. That was mainly because things did not go as well as hoped in qualifying for the Portuguese pilot, who is sponsored by Brose.

“We didn’t perform as we wanted to in qualifying,” said Tiago after the race. “This championship is so close between the individual competitors. If you’re not perfect, you’re soon outside the top 15.” After only finishing 23rd in qualifying, Tiago Monteiro demonstrated all his abilities in the opening spell of the first race.

Good start by Tiago

The ex-Formula 1 pilot, who missed almost the whole of last season due to a serious accident, overtook three rivals at the start and finished up crossing the line in a more than respectable 18th spot. That performance is all the more impressive given the fact that his Honda Civic was also damaged in the tight jostling for position. The race was won by Nestor Girolami (Argentina) and third place went to the latter’s compatriot Esteban Guerrieri (both, like Tiago, in a Honda).

The second race ended in frustration for Tiago. On the very first lap he was the victim of a severe collision in adverse raining conditions and was forced to withdraw because his car was damaged too much. “I was pretty appalled by the driving standards in this race. There was just no respect down there,” said an annoyed Tiago afterwards. Nevertheless, his Hungarian teammate Attila Tassi from the KCMG team drove a magnificent race on his home track, moving up from 17 on the grid to take the checkered flag in eighth – his best result in a WTCR race to date.

Tiago: “A tough weekend”

As in the previous one, Tiago started race 3 from 21st. This time he was able to keep out of the tough fights for positions and produced a strong performance over the 17 laps to move up five spots by the end. Yet even 16th position, his best result on the weekend in Hungary, was not really able to satisfy him. “It was a tough day to end a tough weekend,” he noted. “Our task is now to get ourselves qualifying near the front so we can have a chance of better results in the races.”

After two out of 10 weekends, Tiago has 20 points and is in 16th position in the very evenly matched WTCR standings. The top 10 ranks are by no means out of his reach: He is just 24 points off them. Tiago has his next chance to reduce the gap on the Slovakia Ring near Bratislava in two weeks’ time.