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Tiago Monteiro cautious ahead of “toughest” event of season

Honda’s Tiago Monteiro is in a cautious mood ahead of what he describes as the “toughest appointment” of the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) season for Honda at the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

Monteiro believes that the sections of long, high-speed straight which feature on the 17-turn Nordschleife circuit will worto Honda’s disadvantage, despite the marque being within five seconds of Citroën with team-mate Gabriele Tarquini during the recent official test day at the circuit.

“It is a complex circuit and we all know that this it is probably the toughest appointment of the season and the most dangerous in the world,” said Monteiro. “To ideally negotiate the 170 turns of this circuit is an impossible mission, but it is a huge challenge that boosts my motivation.

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“For Honda, this circuit is more penalising than another because it has many straights that are not ideal for the Civic. But we have worked to mitigate this handicap and I think we succeeded.”

As a result of Citroën’s superior straight-line speed and performance, Monteiro is only aiming for points in Germany.

“It is very difficult to make predictions. We will do our best with the hope of maintaining our fourth place in the championship. To do this, we will need points so we will do our best to score as many as possible.

“It’s a challenging track for us and we know the opposition will be strong here. But of course I am committed to giving it everything I can to add to our last race results. The update on the Civic has really helped; the car works well – it is very smooth, very responsive.

“This track is not only very physical for us, but also mentally testing. I’ve been working even harder than normal on my fitness and diet in preparation because I know it requires absolute concentration.”

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