Honda’s Tiago Monteiro says that it would have been “impossible” to do better in the World Touring Car Championship races at Spa-Francorchamps, after the Portugese driver secured sixth and fourth placed finishes in Sunday’s two races.
Monteiro had qualified in a respectable sixth position on Saturday, missing out on Q3 entry by a mere 0.018 seconds. However he was given a five-place grid penalty for contact with Tom Chilton in the previous round in Russia, leaving him to start from tenth on the grid after Dušan Borković was also handed a penalty.
Monteiro made up four positions in the opening race of the day, finishing in sixth. In race two he started from fifth but was up to second at the start of the race, before losing out to charging Citroën drivers José María López and Yvan Muller in the second half of the race.
“To do better, was impossible,” said Monteiro after the weekend’s action. “I gave my best and I pushed to the maximum. Unfortunately, it was impossible to compete with Citroën.
“I made two good starts that allowed me to achieve two good results, which is very important in terms of the championships,” added the Potugese driver, who remains fourth overall.
Monteiro says that he feels his JAS Motorsport team have improved his Civic since the start of the season but as race two showed, he still does not have the equipment to take the fight to Citroën even in a reverse-grid race.
“We have gradually improved the Honda Civic and have obtained the best results with the equipment we have,” admitted Monteiro. “It is still not enough to fight with the best team, but it is important to keep the fighting spirit and never give up. Spa has shown us that we could be rewarded nicely for our efforts.
“The Civic is undamaged which is good news as we ship the cars to Argentina this week. We will now be able to test some new components in July which we hope will give us more performance for the second half of the year.”