The World Touring Car Championship heads to sunny Portugal this weekend, for Round 5 of the Championship and Tiago Monteiro is relishing the chance to participate in the series’ first race at the Internation Autodromo of Algarve, situated in PortimÃ£o.
Having already raced at Estoril and Boavista , Monteiro acknowledges the boost that the home fans will undoubtably give, but is also cautious about the teams who have enjoyed the benefit of limited testing at the circuit. “We know that some teams already have experience of Portimao and that could give us a few hard times in order to be on par with them in the quickest mount of time.” says Monteiro.
“There is also the ballast issue, which will once again be at the maximum for us while the BMW’s will be 20kg lighter. But for me, the most important thing is to race at home. Even though my roots are in Oporto I have strong releationships with Algarve, not only for leisure but also on a professional level. I feel at home here, just like in Estoril where I won a race in the WTCC two years ago. I enjoyed a fabulous welcome on the circuit of Boavista and I’m sure I will have the same in Algarve.”
The SEAT Leon TDI #3 driver is currently sat in 5th in the Championship, mainly thanks to some great drives at the previous round in Zolder, where he produced some solid results, finishing 3rd and 4th in the 2 races. Monteiro is keen to continue his fight with the top drivers, and knows that reliability is key.
Speaking about the track itself Monteiro said: “I like the International Autodromo of Algarve because it is a technical track which gathers the characteristics of several other emblematic circuits. I think it will put on a great show; the track is wide and it should help with overtaking as well as preventing chaos at the start, even if the first turn should always be a level-headed area.