The fourth meeting of the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) had started ideally for Tiago Monteiro, who had made two exceptional qualifying performances on the Slovakia Ring, securing 4th and 6th position starts for the season's 7th and 8th races.
Unfortunately, qualifying was the calm before the storm for the Portuguese driver, who was unable to convert his fine Saturday performances into points on Sunday, when he was forced to settle for two DNFs instead: in the first race due to contact with a competitor who forced him onto the grass in the crush of the first lap, and in the second race due to electrical problems.
Fourth on the starting grid in the first race, Tiago lost positions going into the first corner, and then fell victim to one of the collisions in the first lap. "Muller missed his braking and that forced me to take a line that cost me several positions,"explained the driver of the SEAT Leon 1.6 liter turbo #18 car. "In the next corner, Nash bumped me so hard that part of the rear of the car was destroyed and I was pushed into the gravel. The car was heavily damaged, but the team did an extraordinary job repairing it in time for the second race."
The second race had the same end result as the first one, but this time Tiago was forced to abandon after a technical problem. "I had a pretty good start, but the car quickly lost power. The electrical circuit had some shorts, I don't know if it is a problem related to the accident in the first race" declared one of the unluckiest drivers of the weekend in Bratislava, who did not get the chance to secure the points he had his sights on. "For the first time this season, we had a more competitive engine and we did good work all weekend. Qualifying had shown that we had what it took to fight for the points in both races and it would have been important to do so. Unfortunately, problems beyond our control prevented us. It is an immense disappointment for the whole team, but there is still the satisfaction of knowing that SEAT took home its first victory of the season thanks to Gabriele Tarquini, the first win by the SEAT 1.6 liter turbo."
Tiago Monteiro will soon have a chance to forget this weekend on the Slovakia Ring, because the 5th FIA WTCC meeting takes place next week in Hungary.