Tiago Monteiro lived through a rough weekend in Puebla as it turned out to have the completely opposite ending to his 2008 Mexican campaign. Instead of emulating the rewards of his maiden win in the FIA World Touring Car Championship, he walked away empty handed. With zero points from Puebla to add to his similar result from Curitiba, America was definitely not the El Dorado that the Portuguese driver expected.
Tiago made an excellent start to race one, climbing up from the 3rd row of the grid to take 4th position, however a restless and action packed first lap saw him drop back to 7th. Then, just as he was on the verge of overtaking Jorg Muller, the German driver forced him off track and into a rough cross country style run onto the grass. Rejoining the action with dirty tyres and an early braking Muller in his path, Tiago lost control of his car and spun. He therefore resumed his race at the back of the pack before clawing his way back up to 11th place. Unfortunately, the second race was over before the end of the first lap due to a punctured tyre.
"It is a weekend to forget!" summarized the driver of the SEAT León TDI N°5. "The first race started really well and the car was competitive, but Jorg Muller pushed me off track. The tyres were dirty and I could not handle the car under the next braking. In the second race, a contact with Stefano d'Aste left one of my tyres flat and I could not even return to the pits to try and change it. I never thought I'd leave Puebla with no points at all but that's racing and you have to accept it and move forward. I will go to Morocco with the same determination as in Mexico. I am disappointed not have secured at least one point but I'm pleased for the team because our efforts have given us the upper hand on BMW. Our race pace shows it was very tight here and we will have to work hard to make sure we stay ahead."
The FIA World Touring Car Championship will now take a small break and will return to the track at the beginning of May with a maiden visit to Morocco where the 5th and 6th races of the season will take place on the third of May in Marrakech.