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Tiago Monteiro happy after extending championship lead

Tiago Monteiro was pleased with his performances in the World Touring Car Championship races in Hungary, which saw the Honda driver extend his championship lead to 38 points after a win and fifth place finish.

Monteiro went into the weekend having to carry the maximum 80 kg of compensation weight for the first time this season, with the result being that the Portuguese driver missed out on getting through to Q3 for the first time this season.

Despite that setback, Monteiro started on the front row of the grid for the reverse-grid Opening Race and he duly took the lead when pole-sitter John Filippi stalled, converting his starting position into a victory.

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The Main Race was a more challenging task for Monteiro, who could only gain four positions from his grid spot to take fifth.

“It was a very important win at all levels,” said Monteiro of his weekend, which saw his championship lead grow to 38 points. “We had a very difficult qualifying but we knew that not all was lost, and that we needed to score strong points today.

“Obviously the front row was very important and it was not easy as it might have looked, because Tom [Chilton] was really strong behind and pushing quite hard the whole race.

“I was trying to control my tyre performance and trying to make them last because we do feel the 80 kilograms quite a lot today, especially with the heat. But in the end we finished first and that was the key part of the weekend.”

Monteiro added that he didn’t have the pace to match the Citroën drivers, with the Honda racer also benefitting when one of the C-Elysées, that of Rob Huff, was hit with a drive-through penalty following an on-track incident ahead of him.

“I’m happy with the fifth place, of course. Rob’s penalty helped to get one spot but from ninth to sixth on the first lap was the key moment of the second race for me and from then on we were following Tom. Again he had a strong pace – we were close together at the beginning but then he just went away.

“Overall I’m very happy with the end of the weekend for me.”

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