Tiago Monteiro scored a hugely emotional maiden WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup victory in front of his home crowd on the streets of Vila Real on Sunday.
The Portuguese ace, who faced a huge battle to return to racing after sustaining serious injuries in an accident in 2017, and made his full-time comeback earlier this year, also made KCMG the first Asian team to win in the WTCR.
Tiago qualified a season’s-best second for the Race Three grid, passed his pole-sitting team-mate Attila Tassi when the Hungarian suffered a misfire on lap three, and resisted initial pressure to pull away to a commanding three-second victory.
His win was the sixth of the season for the Honda Civic Type R TCR in the WTCR, and followed a 10th-place finish from Race Two’s partially-reversed grid.
Attila, who had led an all-KCMG one-two in qualifying to claim his first WTCR podium, led until suffering a faulty spark plug, which caused his retirement. He finished 11th in Race Two.
ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport’s Esteban Guerrieri increased his lead in the Drivers’ Championship with a hard-fought third place in Race Two.
Having qualified ninth, he started second on the partially-reversed grid, but lost a position after taking his joker lap early and being blocked by Nicky Catsburg for most of the race.
Catsburg, whose team-mate is Esteban’s main challenger for the title, then made contact with him on the opening lap of Race Three. That broke Esteban’s left-rear wheel and put him out.
Nestor Girolami, who qualified 11th for both races, scored vital points in ninth and sixth; results that keep him right in the hunt for second place in the championship.
Münnich’s lead in the Teams’ Championship stands at 73 points with four triple-header events remaining while Esteban is 25 clear in the Drivers’ standings.