for Portuguese fans
After visiting the Boavista circuit for the first time in 2007, the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) is making a stop in Estoril this year. Tiago Monteiro has been waiting anxiously for this event. The SEAT Sport driver knows he can count on the help of thousands of spectators and he hopes that the enthusiastic crowd will carry him and give him the energy he needs to forget his misfortunes from the past few race weekends.
"Racing at home increases your strength tenfold. Last year I felt an enormous boost from the public and I know that it will be the same this year at Estoril," Tiago declared, "for me it is a source of pride that the championship is coming to my country. My opponents might think that I know this circuit better than any on the schedule but that's not exactly true. I have always raced in foreign or international championships it will only be the second time for me driving at Estoril! The first time was in 2004, in the World Series, and the weekend went well. I hope that will be the case four years later!"
At Estoril, with 12 kilograms of ballast, his SEAT León No. 18 car will be lighter than some competitors, but Tiago knows that it won't be a great help in a highly competitive championship where some ten cars are racing in the same second. The only thing Tiago knows for sure is that his agenda will be all filled up from morning to night.
"The days will be full but that's good. This will be a chance to see some people that I don't get to see at other stages of the championship. And in particular it will give me a chance to meet with Portuguese fans. I get lots of emails throughout the year and contact with race fans is very important to me. I also think that the closeness between drivers and fans is one of the reasons why this championship is successful".
The FIA WTCC enables enthusiastic fans to see behind the scenes of the championship and several promotional operations will make it possible to give out free tickets. Estoril will round out the first half of the World Touring Car Championship. After his win at Puebla, Tiago endured several disappointing weekends and he hopes to finally be able to exploit the potential of the SEAT León TDI before his loyal fans.
The WTCC Estoril stage will be rebroadcast on Eurosport 1 and 2. Qualifying is at 3:00 pm on Saturday the 12th, and the races are at 1:00 pm and 4:30 pm UK Time on Sunday the 13th.