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Remembering when… Monteiro won at home in the WTCC

Remembering when… Monteiro won at home in the WTCC

18/06/2017 12:00

Tiago Monteiro got his faltering season firmly back on track with an emotional home win in the FIA World Touring Car Championship on 26 June 2016.

Portugal’s erstwhile title leader had been on the back foot following exclusion in Morocco and a spectacular crash in Germany. But it all came good for the Honda ace on the challenging streets of Vila Real.

Despite the race-long attentions of Citroën’s Yvan Muller, Monteiro, who started from the DHL pole, did not crack under pressure to win the Main Race from Muller and Honda team-mate Norbert Michelisz.

“This is a moment that I will remember forever, I will keep in my head, in my heart, it was obviously a very emotional and very important moment,” Monteiro said at the time. “For this to happen today of course you need a great team behind you, great people, hard work and today the opportunity came to me. And today, this weekend it was such an important moment of course. A lot of people for Honda Japan, very high level people here to see this great event. Of course the support that I’ve been getting for the last few months building up to this event has been crazy, and I can feel it today. To win your home race it’s just unbelievable, people who have done it know what it means and 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 lose a bit of focus because I could hear them really shouting but it was okay. I’m going to enjoy this moment for a long time.”

In the Opening Race, privateer driver Tom Coronel scored his second victory of 2016 for ROAL Motorsport with Tom Chilton making it two independent WTCC Trophy drivers in the top two. Nicky Catsburg completed the podium for LADA as Sébastien Loeb Racing put the WTCC Teams’ Trophy beyond doubt thanks to Chilton and Mehdi Bennani’s strong performances.

Rob Huff extended the Honda celebrations by winning the TAG Heuer Best Lap Trophy, the Briton setting a new lap record with a 1m58.385s best in the Main Race. Thed Björk, partnered at Polestar Cyan Racing by Robert Dahlgren for the first time, scored points in both races. World champion José María López bagged two fifths to maintain his push for a third crown.

Norbert Michelisz has received yet more silverware. Twenty-four hours after picking up his trophy for finishing runner-up in the FIA World Touring Car Championship at the FIA Prize Giving event in Paris, the Hungarian was honoured a little closer to home.

The top three drivers in the 2017 FIA World Touring Car Championship were honoured in Paris on Friday evening when the stunning Château de Versailles hosted the annual FIA Prize Giving ceremony.

FIA World Touring Car Championship promoter Eurosport Events has broken with tradition by awarding the prestigious WTCC Nürburgring Nordschleife Best Driver Trophy to not one but two drivers after Polestar Cyan Racing’s factory duo, Thed Björk and Nicky Catsburg, tamed planet earth’s toughest race track in spectacular fashion back in May.

Jean Todt has been re-elected as President of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) at the organisation’s General Assembly in Paris today.

Thed Björk will be crowned FIA World Touring Car champion for 2017 at the FIA Prize Giving in Paris this evening. Here are some facts about Polestar Cyan Racing’s swift Swede.

The FIA World Touring Car Championship will be replaced from 2018 with new technical regulations, a new format and a new name following a vote of approval by the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Paris yesterday (6 December).