Tiago Monteiro could not have wished for a more successful start to the new season of the World Touring Car Championship (WTCR). The Portuguese, who is supported by Brose, won the very first race on the legendary Nordschleife of the Nürburgring in impressive style. "It's fantastic to be able to start the season with a victory. I felt a lot of adrenaline in me today," said Tiago after his magnificent triumph in the Eifel.
Initially, it did not look like a successful start for the 44-year-old. Starting in fourth position, he initially lost a place on the 25-kilometer Nordschleife, which the drivers had to drive through three times. But Tiago stayed with the leading group and initially benefited from an overly optimistic attack by Italian Gabriele Tarquini against Yann Ehrlacher. Both drivers subsequently lost a few places at the start of the third and final lap, while Tiago in his Honda Civic was even able to move up to second position.
He then drove patiently behind the leader Yvan Muller and waited for the best moment to attack the Frenchman. He then saw it about 500 meters from the finish when he sucked in Muller's slipstream and then pushed him out of the lead with a skillful overtaking maneuver. "It was one of those great races that you come up with a plan for beforehand and it completely works out," Tiago was pleased to say. "That doesn't happen too often, and even more rarely here."
Tiago celebrates first victory since 2019
At the same time, the former Formula 1 driver thanked his long-time rival for his fair conduct during the decisive maneuver. "It was a good and respectful fight with him. I knew we could both race fairly against each other in such a situation," said Tiago, whose success marked the first race win in the WTCR for his team ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport. For him personally, it was the first triumph since his emotional home victory in Vila Real, Portugal, in July 2019.
In the second race on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, Tiago then had to settle for eighth place. Starting seventh, he was pushed very far to the outside in the very first corner and from then on was unable to intervene in the decision for victory. For his team Münnich Motorsport, however, this race was also a success. Because Nestor Girolami (ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport) finished third in the end and was thus able to claim the second podium place for the Honda racing team in the second race.
In the overall standings, Tiago is in second place together with Girolami after the first race weekend. The gap to leader Jean-Karl Vernay is just six points. For Tiago and Girolami, the weekend at the Nürburgring ended with another success. In the 24-hour race, the duo finished third in the TCR class as a team with two other Honda drivers. The touring car World Cup continues in three weeks. Tiago's home race in Estoril will then be on the agenda. We wish him every success!