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DATE News (chronologically)
01/09/08
dakar
Monteiro is disappointed to have to stay home

The former F1 and Champ Car driver is now driving just a WTCC car.  Another waste of good talent.

The Lisbon-Dakar is over before it even began, cancelled because the safety of the competitors could not be guaranteed. Tiago Monteiro's feelings on the subject reflect those of all the participants, disappointed and professionally hurt by the cancellation, the first in the history of the Dakar.

"The overriding sentiment is one of immense frustration, but I understand the reasons behind the organizers' decision because safety comes first," Tiago declared, "I worked for five months to put this project together and our desire to meet this challenge was huge. In the past few days I have felt the spirit of solidarity that unites the Dakar competitors and I am aware that some were thrust into a much worse situation than I was.  For me the Dakar was an isolated project. I think that the tragedy is even greater for the fans who had gambled everything they had in this adventure and who may not get a second chance. It is sad that terrorism can put an end to one of the greatest sporting events in the world."

The Lisbon-Dakar had a unique dimension for Tiago Monteiro with a competitive challenge tied to a humanitarian project, that nothing will stop.

"On another front, Actions Dakar's work goes on and will continue to contribute to improving the quality of life of many Africans. My participation in the operation Operação Nariz Vermelho is guaranteed with the presence of a clown in a medical center for six months. It's a consolation and in this sense I can say that this project has not totally sunk into oblivion."
The 2008 season got a rocky start but it has helped to build a great momentum of solidarity.

"In these difficult times I have to emphasize the support that my family and friends have given me, as well as the help my sponsors have given me. They have shown great understanding in putting this project together and up until the unforeseen cancellation which is doing a lot of damage."

Tiago Monteiro will now pick back up his activities with SEAT Sport in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC), which will have its first races on March 1 and 2 at Curitiba, Brazil.

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