‘It felt like I’d never been away’: WTCR’s Monteiro on full-time return
Hero racer Tiago Monteiro said he felt like he’d never been away from the cockpit as he began his full-time return to competition in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO yesterday.
Monteiro has not raced full time since sustaining serious head and neck injuries in a testing crash 19 months ago. But he was on the pace from the start of the WTCR AFRIQUIA Race of Morocco weekend, missing out on a front-row start by just 0.2 seconds after encountering heavy traffic in qualifying.
Fighting hard in Race 1, Monteiro finished in sixth place to cap a fine comeback performance in his KCMG Honda Civic Type R TCR.
“It feels really good to be back,” said the Portuguese. “The team has worked really well together and sixth is a strong result to start the season with. There was a lot of doubt around me this weekend; lots of people asked ‘is he ready? Will he be back to his best?’, but honestly, it feels like I’ve never been away. It just feels like a normal race weekend, which is exactly what I’ve been hoping for. I never got a clear lap in qualifying, and I was pushing hard in the race, but dropped back from the leaders. This is a solid result and I think it’s possible to go forwards.”