Strong WTCC title push “extremely” possible, says Monteiro

Strong WTCC title push “extremely” possible, says Monteiro

23/01/2017 at 14:00Updated 23/01/2017 at 14:03

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Tiago Monteiro can become Portugal’s first FIA World Touring Car champion providing he and the factory Honda team builds on the progress made in 2016.

Monteiro scored two race wins and claimed a career-high third in the final standings last season. After his partnership with Honda’s WTCC operation, which dates back to 2012, was confirmed for 2017, the ex-grand prix racer gave an enthusiastic reaction to his title prospects.

“It’s fantastic to be staying with Honda and I’m incredibly enthusiastic about what lies ahead in 2017,” said Monteiro, 40. “I joined Honda at the start of the WTCC programme in 2012 with the aim of becoming world champion, and that target remains the same. In 2016 I came closer than ever before. The Civic WTCC was the best it’s ever been and so was the way the team worked. If we continue to build on this in 2017, as I’m sure we will, then we can be sure of an extremely strong push for the title.”

Porto-born won the Opening Race in Slovakia and the Main Race on home soil in Vila Real, where he started from the DHL pole position. He will link up with Norbert Michelisz under the Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team banner, while Ryo Michigami also joins the factory line-up, albeit representing Honda Racing Team JAS.

Monteiro begins his WTCC title quest in Marrakech, Morocco from 7-9 April.