It’s “pretty satisfying” for comeback hero Monteiro in WTCR
Tiago Monteiro described the first day of his return from serious injury as “pretty satisfying”. Monteiro is contesting WTCR JVCKENWOOD Race of Japan 415 days after a testing crash in Spain left him with head and neck injuries, which he’s fought to recover from ever since.
Driving a Honda Civic Type R TCR for Boutsen Ginion Racing in what is his debut in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO, Monteiro was P20 in First Qualifying and P16 in Second Qualifying – 0.7s off the pace – although the Portuguese has always maintained that performance is not the priority at Suzuka.
“I’m so happy to be back,” Monteiro said following Second Qualifying on Friday. “The welcome from the whole WTCR family has been incredible, and makes me feel amazing. It’s pretty special to make my comeback here at Suzuka – the same circuit where I gave the Honda Civic its WTCC debut in 2012.
“I said when my return was confirmed that I wasn’t setting targets, but honestly, to be two seconds off the pace in FP1 and then get that down to 0.7s by Second Qualifying – and less than 0.2s off making Q2 – is pretty satisfying. I don’t know what I can do tomorrow, but I’ll be pushing as hard as I can.”