Honda’s Tiago Monteiro is seeking victory in his home round of the World Touring Car Championship in Vila Real this weekend, as the Portuguese ace aims to reignite his championship campaign.
Monteiro, who has taken two of his eight WTCC wins at home, is hoping to add to the one win which he has already gained in 2016, although he acknowledges that the challenging circuit will not make it an easy task.
In addition, the Honda Civic WTCC cars must carry 60 kg of compensation weight this weekend, due to a podium and fastest lap scored in the previous event in Russia.
“Happiness is racing in front of my home fans and it means more than the weight handicap,” said Monteiro. “There is no greater motivation and I am hoping to give the public the opportunity to celebrate a Portuguese victory. But, I also know that the task will not be easy.
“The races will be hotly contested. And the track is very demanding and requires maximum concentration. We must give the maximum from the start, not make any mistakes and have a good qualifying.
“There are not a lot of overtaking zones and so it is important to be high up on the starting grid. I look forward to returning to Vila Real and participating in the great festival.”
Having previously taken victory at his ‘home’ round in Portimão and Estoril in the past, Monteiro is now hoping to add victory on the challenging Vila Real street circuit, which features a demanding and high-speed layout which drivers have compared to the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
“I’m really looking forward to racing in front of my home fans on the streets of Vila Real,” continued Monteiro. “The support I get here is absolutely fantastic and I would love to give them a win.
“As far as street circuits go, Vila Real is one of the best around. It’s long, there’s a fantastic amount of elevation change and some of the corners are really super-fast.
“Having 60 kg of compensation weight this weekend is far from ideal, but the Civic WTCC is a very strong car – as we proved in the dry and damp conditions in Russia – and we are aiming high.”