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Tiago Monteiro admits to having ‘no target’ for races

Tiago Monteiro has not set himself any targets for Saturday’s World Touring Car Championship races around the Nürburgring Nordschleife, after the Honda driver qualified in fourth on Friday.

The championship leader had never been higher than sixth fastest in any of the test or practice sessions before qualifying, and he had not been any closer than 2.8 seconds from the pace.

Monteiro tried a number of different set-up options on his Civic as he tried to find the right balance around the 170-turn, 25.9 km circuit.

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In the end the Portuguese driver put in a strong lap to end up fourth and crucially be within striking distance of his nearest championship rival, Polestar’s Nicky Catsburg.

“Firstly a huge congratulations to Norbi, who has done a fantastic job all weekend and deserves his pole position,” said Monteiro, who was over two seconds slower than his team-mate.

“I’m pretty happy with my speed in qualifying. I wasn’t particularly confident with the way my car felt in practice, but the team worked hard to tweak the set-up and with new tyres we were very fast this afternoon.

“The fight for pole was very close between four of us, but I had a damper issue on my last lap which means I qualified fourth.

“I don’t have a target for the races, but if there’s a good chance for a win or a podium, I’ll be sure to take it.”

JAS Motorsport Team Principal Alessandro Mariani believed that Monteiro could have gone even quicker, but for the damper problem which also held him back in the MAC3 manufacturers challenge.

“I believe Tiago could have joined Norbert [Michelisz] on the front row if he hadn’t had the damper issue on his last lap in qualifying,” said Mariani. “But again his engineers have worked very well to improve the speed of his car throughout the weekend.”

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