Tiago Monteiro heads into the second half of the 2012 World Touring Car Championship having shown his speed in inferior machinery as he secured a top five finish during round eleven at the Salzburgring.
He feels that the performance shown in Austria means that the weekend as a whole was an important one for him and the team.
“It was an important weekend for us. We managed to stand out in the leading pack despite the handicaps we had to deal with,” said Monteiro.
“In terms of performance, the end result is positive; our race pace was good in particular. I was attacking from the first lap to the last lap in the first race, to guarantee this 5th place finish for the team, which is a fine reward,” explains Monteiro, who currently sits 11th in the Championship with 35 Championship points.
Round twelve didn’t go according to plan for the #18 SEAT Tuenti Racing Team as he suffered a puncture just before mid distance and he was forced to retire. Just before his retirement, Monteiro had set the second fastest lap of the race.
Monteiro believes that he could have matched his race one result in the second race if he hadn’t had the puncture: “I knew that it was going to be tough managing the tyres. Despite everything, without this puncture in the fastest and longest corner of the circuit, I could have tried to equal my result from the first race,” added the Portuguese racer.
Next up for Monteiro is his home weekend in Portugal, at the Portimao circuit. The former Formula 1 driver is still yet to know whether he will have the SEAT Sport engine or if he will continue with the SunRed 1.6litre turbocharged engine.
“Regardless of which version of the SEAT León we will have, we will prepare for these races with the greatest professionalism and the same determination, trying to obtain the best result within our reach,” concluded Monteiro. “Logically, racing in front of my fans, I would like to have the new engine, but if that is not the case, it won’t effect my motivation at all.”