Monteiro describes “floating” feeling ahead of WTCR’s Vila Real return
Home hero Tiago Monteiro is preparing to enter into a “different state of mind” when Vila Real hosts the fifth event of the 2022 WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup from Saturday morning.
LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler’s Portuguese star holds the record as the last driver to win on the town’s challenging streets following his euphoric success in the third of three races in 2019.
He returns in a latest-specification Honda Civic Type R TCR run on Goodyear tyres and said: “We all remember very well every inch of the track, but the thing is the confidence, especially at a track like this when you have to commit so much more than at any other track. It’s just how fast you get in the rhythm and the flow and the feedback the car gives you. If the car is nice and easy to drive and efficient at the same time it makes your life easier but if it gets a bit tricky it takes longer to get the confidence.
“I know the track very well, no doubt, but it’s as much as my competitors, and now it’s a matter of how good the car will be and how fast you will get back in the rhythm and get in that strong attack mode.
“It’s a very, very tough track and that’s why this track is so exciting. It’s probably in a way tougher than Macau. Although Macau is longer and is also as exciting there are harder corners in Vila Real with the hard braking and the chicanes and some fast, fast areas.
“The whole track is a challenge, there is no relaxing at all, and the long downhill into the final corner makes it one of the hardest corners on earth. You are also in a different state of mind. It’s almost like you are not exactly there anymore, you are floating in this really strange feeling. You are so focused, when you make one with the car and the track nothing else exists and this doesn’t happen in a lot of places. The only problem is if you don’t find this connection then you struggle so much and you fight. But if you manage to have this chemistry, which you build up to, then you can do very well.”