Honda’s Tiago Monteiro says that his victory in the second World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) race in Russia is a “great reward” for himself and his team, after claiming his first win since 2013.
Monteiro led the second race from start to finish to take his first win since China in 2013, and add to the eighth-place finish he took in the opening race.
The Portuguese driver thus ended a winless run of 33 races, in a race which also failed to feature a Citroën driver on the podium for the second time this season. Monteiro has now taken five of his six career WTCC wins in the reverse-grid second race.
“The victory was not easy to pick up and I had to have full concentration at all times,” said Monteiro. “I made sure that I preserved my tyres early in the race because I knew it would be crucial that they were still strong in the final kilometres. Then in the closing laps it was maximum attack.”
“We have had a few disappointments this year and this win is a great reward for me and the entire team who have worked tirelessly to take a step forward at every round. We needed this win and we knew that the conditions were met here in Russia for the victory.”
As a result of the win, Monteiro remains in fourth position in the drivers’ championship as the ‘best of the rest’ behind the three leading Citroën drivers, and he is now just 33 points behind third-placed Sébastien Loeb.
“This is the second objective that we have achieved in Russia and it is greatly satisfying because it shows us that we are on an upward path,” continued Monteiro. “We must continue to work hard and not forget that it is the sum of all the little details that can help make the difference.
“This victory is a huge motivation for the next rounds of the championship, starting with Vila Real in Portugal.”