Despite two difficult races marked by several jostles that prevented him from demonstrating his full potential and that of his SEAT Leon 1.6 liter Turbo, Tiago Monteiro managed to secure points on Valencia's Ricardo Tormo circuit today during the last European races in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC).
Tiago, in his SEAT Leon Sun-Red #18 car met his objectives in the first race, securing points for 8th place, but was forced to abandon before the end of the first lap in the second race following a collision with a rival.
Starting from fifth on the grid in the first race, Tiago moved up two places and was looking at a podium when in lap 9 of 13 a contact with a competitor caused him to gradually fall from 3rd to 8th place. "I was hit 4 times and it was not without consequences for my car! The steering was bent and the car was obviously much harder to steer at the end of the race. It also accentuated tyre wear and with so many handicaps it was impossible to battle with my direct competitors," explained the Portuguese driver who, in spite of everything, was the best ranked of the SEAT drivers.
Tiago's misfortunes went a step further in the first lap of the second race, when he was involved in a violent collision which forced him to drop out immediately. At the time, Tiago was ahead of the other SEAT Sun-Red driver, Gabriele Tarquini, who crossed the finish line in 5th place, three seconds behind the winner. Tarquini's performance hints at the result Tiago could have rightfully hoped for. "Despite our excellent results last year, I was not expecting miracles at Valencia but I would never have imagined that the results would be so disappointing. There are three meetings and six races left, and my objective is not any lower than it was before: I want to move up to 4th place in the drivers' championship. It won't be easy, but our strength of character and our human and technical skills mean that it won't be impossible. Our new engine still lacks power but our morale doesn't!" Tiago concluded.
The next races in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) will take place on October 23 in Japan.