Monteiro praise for “fantastic” WTCR young star Lessennes
Tiago Monteiro says he expected his teenage stand-in Benjamin Lessennes to impress in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO despite the Belgian only recently turning 19.
Lessennes has been entrusted with Monteiro’s Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR until the Portuguese is ready to return to action following the testing crash last September that left him seriously injured.
In the 15 races he’s contested, Lessennes has managed a best result of fourth having claimed a qualifying high of fifth to underline his potential.
“He’s doing fantastically well,” said Monteiro, who attends all WTCR OSCARO events to provide guidance to Lessennes. “It’s a surprise for many people but not for me because I’ve seen him racing in Belgium and raced against him two years ago. He was just starting racing, coming from go-karts and was only 16 years old. OK, I won the races but he was not very far away. I liked his attitude and his approach. Since then I followed him and saw his good results.
“When I started working with him I was quite impressed. He listens very well. Whatever I tell him, he’s able to do it. Of course, he lacks some experience still, but he’s 19 years old. He’s amazingly fast and very clever. We get on very well, so I’m proud that he’s in my car.”
Of the prospects of Lessennes completing the full WTCR OSCARO season, Monteiro explained: “The deal, in theory, is that when I come back, he jumps out. But we’re thinking he deserves to be there, so we’re trying to find ways of making him stay whenever I come back. We’ll see what happens.”
Lessennes will join his WTCR OSCARO rivals on the grid at the Slovakia Ring from 13-15 July.