New TCN Logo

Upcoming events:

New TCN Logo

Tiago Monteiro: ‘I’ll remember this day for the rest of my life’

Honda’s Tiago Monteiro has hailed the support he received after taking a home World Touring Car Championship win on the streets of Vila Real in Portugal.

Monteiro won on home soil for the third time in his WTCC career in the Main Race on Sunday, leading from lights to flag to also take his second win of the season.

There was an outpouring of support for the Portuguese racer after the event, with a memorable podium ceremony which Monteiro admits he will not forget.

- Advertisement -

“This has been an incredible day and one I’ll keep in my mind and in my heart for the rest of my life,” said Monteiro, who has also moved up to second overall in the drivers’ championship standings. “To win a world championship race in front of your own fans gives me incredible feelings and the support I saw out on the podium was like nothing I’d ever experienced before.

“Of course you get a pole position, [but] to win in your home race is just unbelievable. People who have done it know what it means.

“I could hear people in the car! I mean we have engines, we have earplugs and I could hear people shouting in the last few laps, so that’s the only time that I lost a bit of focus, because I could hear them really shouting but it was okay.”

With no overtaking amongst the top six drivers in the race, Monteiro knew it would be vital to get a clean and fast start to keep Citroën’s Yvan Muller at bay.

“The key to the victory today was the start; I was focused on making the best getaway I could because that first few seconds is worth 90 per cent of the race. I made a good start and was able to control things.

“We’re now P2 in the championship and although we’re a long way behind P1, we’ll never give up.”

Honda Team Principal Alessandro Mariani believes that the result now shows that the Honda can be the pace-setting car even when it is carrying compensation weight, as the Civics were laden with 60 kg in Portugal.

“I’m absolutely delighted; not just for Tiago, but for the whole team,” said Mariani. “In Russia we had the fastest car, but were not able to show the true potential of the Civic in race conditions because of the crazy weather conditions.

“But this weekend, with a lot of weight, we showed we can be competitive on any kind of circuit.

“The first target was to get all three cars into Q3 and we did, and then the aim was to win, and now we have done this too. Everyone has worked so hard to achieve this and we all share in this win.

“I also want to thank the Portuguese fans for their incredible support; the only other time I’ve seen a podium like this was when Ayrton Senna won the 1991 Brazilian Grand Prix in his McLaren-Honda. It’s a very special day.”

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Stay Connected


Must Read

- Advertisement -

Related News

- Advertisement -