Tiago Monteiro signed off the 2012 World Touring Car Championship by taking Honda’s first podium in only their fifth race during round 23 on the streets of Macau.
Having qualified fifth fastest in the #18 Honda Civic, Monteiro took fourth from his 2013 Honda team-mate, Gabriele Tarquini at Lisboa before inheriting third after the Chevrolet of Rob Huff retired with suspension damage.
“This is an incredible result!” explains Monteiro, whose Honda Civic was faster than the Chevrolets around the slower parts of the Macau circuit.
“The Honda Civic is a fabulous car that builds confidence and can attack to the limit without exceeding it. This circuit is very demanding and allows the driver to make more of a difference than anywhere else, I love driving here.
“I was faster than the blue cars in the slower sections but it was out of the question for me to take risks to overtake them with a podium in sight. I am delighted to give this to Honda and JAS Motorsport.”
Monteiro backed up his podium with a fourth place finish in the final race of the 2012 campaign, having slipped down to seventh when the Chevrolet’s came calling.
Despite the introduction of the safety car for two separate incidents in the finale, the Portuguese racer recovered to secure his best haul of points for 2012 and afterwards, he praised the efforts of the JAS Motorsport team.
“This podium and fourth place are the just rewards for JAS Motorsport Honda for all their effort and the quality of their work,” added Monteiro.
“I thank them and congratulate them for their confidence in me and I am delighted to pay them back this way. We now realize what we need to succeed. It is fantastic and it allows us to prepare in the winter season with great serenity and confidence. The Honda Civic has great potential, it is a quick and healthy car and I am already looking forward to 2013!”