Tiago Monteiro had a mixed weekend during rounds 15 and 16 of the 2012 World Touring Car Championship from Curitiba in Brazil.
The SEAT Tuenti Racing Team driver saw his hopes of a strong result in round 15 disappear after contact from another car broke the suspension on the #18 SunRed SR Leon 1.6T before he was able to rebound and secure a top ten finish in the second race.
Qualifying saw the Portuguese driver end up eighth fastest and third SEAT on the grid. Half way round the opening lap, Monteiro and the ROAL Motorsport BMW 320TC of Alberto Cerqui made contact and Monteiro was out on the spot.
“My chances were quickly blocked in the first race,” said the former Formula 1 racer. “Not long after the start, several cars cut off the chicane without being penalized and I found myself in the middle of the pack. And then Cerqui hit me, the suspension and steering was destroyed. The crew performed a miracle, getting the car ready in time, congratulations go to them!”
The team managed to repair the #18 SunRed SR Leon 1.6T in the 15 minute repair window and this enabled Monteiro to line up third on the grid for the second race.
“The front wheel was destroyed, the mechanics managed to repair the car in time for the second race, they only had 15 minutes and I want to thank them for their extraordinary work,” added Monteiro.
He was able to fend off the attacks from the Chevrolet trio but Monteiro acknowledged that it was just a matter of time before the Chevrolets got ahead.
“I fought well, and I think we put on a good show for the fans,” concluded Monteiro, who leaves Brazil 10th in the Championship with 47 Points.
“I did everything I could, but I knew it was just a question of time before the Chevrolets passed me. I was losing times in the straights and the car was not well-balanced. At the end of the day, I am satisfied to bring home some points.”
Next up for Monteiro is the maiden Race of the USA at the Sonoma circuit in California over the 21/22/23 September. This will mark Monteiro’s last outing in a SEAT as he moves to Honda ahead of the Asian races.