in Morocco - Tiago Monteiro in search of points
Tiago Monteiro will be in Morocco at the end of the week for the 5th and 6th races of the FIA World Touring Car Championship. The SEAT Sport driver is hoping to forget the disappointments of Brazil and Mexico where various problems prevented him from securing valuable world championship points. However, the Portuguese pilot acknowledges that the extra 40kg of ballast in the SEAT León TDI means that it will not be as effective as at it was at the beginning of season and that it will be necessary to deploy driver talent and good strategy in order to secure a good performance at Marrakech. "Our cars will be much heavier and that cannot be a positive thing, but that's the price you pay for success, something the team is now doing after the first two meetings. Until now we have always coped with adversity in that success and turned things around. We worked hard to make the car even better, especially the SEAT León's behaviour in the corners. That's why I think we could have a nice weekend in Marrakech."
The addition of Africa to the championship is very anticipated, the street circuit that utilizes 4.6km of the streets on Marrakech is a new challenge for all the drivers. Situated near the historical centre of the city, the paddock is built in the gardens of the royal Palace and the meeting itself promises to be spectacular as the only FIA approved round on the African Continent. "The track is surrounded by concrete walls and the margin for error is minimal. Studying the circuit diagram, I have noticed that it has four chicanes. They are always neuralgic points, especially when the track is narrow. The first chicane is not far from the starting line and it will be an important phase of the race as the entire field will arrive there at full speed. I think the circuit will be pleasant and could produce some very interesting races even though I have to admit I prefer the so called classic circuits" admits Tiago.
The weather forecast for Marrakech looks good with a maximum temperature of over 30°C expected, which could complicate tyre management over the course of the weekend. The Moroccan stage of the FIA WTCC will be broadcasted live on Eurosport, with qualifying on Saturday May 2 at 16:00 (Eurosport 2), warm-up will start at 11:00 Sunday (Eurosport) and the start of the races will get underway at 13:45 and 14:45 U.K. Time.