Monteiro signs to drive for SEAT Tiago Monteiro has signed to drive for the factory SEAT team in the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) thereby ending his open wheel career forever. Open wheel drivers simply don't go down to saloon cars and then back up to faster, harder to drive open wheel cars. Even though Monteiro says he wants to get back to F1 we doubt that will ever happen now.
SEAT Sport has reinforced its already formidable team line-up with the signing of Tiago Monteiro. The Portuguese driver will join the team after the opening round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship, making him the fifth official SEAT Sport pilot – alongside Jordi Gené, Michel Jourdain Jr, Yvan Muller and Gabriele Tarquini.
Although not racing, Monteiro will travel to Curitiba in Brazil for this weekend’s opening rounds of the WTCC, in order for him get to know all the components of the team and gain knowledge of the format of a hectic WTCC race meeting. He will make his WTCC race debut at Zandvoort in The Netherlands (May 5/6), rounds 3/4 of the series.
Monteiro’s introduction to the SEAT León WTCC and SEAT Sport was when he tested the car in Valencia recently. He demonstrated his desire to join to the team and move to the WTCC then, and all parties have been working hard to secure this deal ever since.
Monteiro has raced for the last two seasons in Formula 1 with Jordan and Midland, finishing third in the 2005 USA GP and an eighth in the Belgium GP in the same year. Now he joins another ex-Formula 1 driver, Gabriele Tarquini, at SEAT Sport.
Tiago Monteiro: "Obviously I am very satisfied with the agreement reached with SEAT Sport to become an official team driver. Since testing the car in Valencia, I realized that the team has great experience and can compete at the highest professional level. With the team’s help I am sure that I will be able to learn rapidly in such a different championship and to be among the best as soon as possible."
“The WTCC is one of the few real world championships, and it becomes bigger and more important year by year. The promotion and the image are really nice, and the promoters are doing great work. I am grateful to all the people who have made this agreement possible and I guarantee my total dedication. I am impatient to enter the action at Zandvoort and am sure that there, and in the whole championship, I will have the support of all my fans.”
Jaime Puig, SEAT Sport: "We are delighted to welcome a pilot of Tiago Monteiro's statue to SEAT Sport. Our race cars are already are in Brazil, so Tiago will make his debut for us in the second race meeting of the Championship in Holland. Until then, we will make sure he is able to gain as much information as possible about the SEAT León WTCC and the Championship, to enable him to make the best debut possible.”
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