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Returning home hero Monteiro joins the WTCR street racers in Vila Real

Returning home hero Monteiro joins the WTCR street racers in Vila Real

28.06.2019: *Honda-powered driver will enjoy a huge fan following at Vila Real’s half-century event *Kristoffersson brings World Rallycross Championship skills to the ‘joker’ lap *Nine winners from 15 races as Guerrieri leads on the #RoadToMalaysia

*Honda-powered driver will enjoy a huge fan following at Vila Real’s half-century event

*Kristoffersson brings World Rallycross Championship skills to the ‘joker’ lap


*Nine winners from 15 races as Guerrieri leads on the #RoadToMalaysia





FIA WTCR Race of Portugal
WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO 2019
Rounds 16, 17and 18 of 30, Vila Real, 5-7 July




From the Nürburgring Nordschleife of the North to what’s known locally as the Nürburgring Nordschleife of the South, the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO is on the move again to Vila Real, a street track for the brave where brilliance makes the difference and mistakes are punished in an instant.



While the 4.785-kilometre lap is more than 20 kilometres shorter than the real Nordschleife, there are similarities thanks to the Portuguese venue’s blend of fast turns, climbs and descents.



As with all street tracks run-off is scarce and precision is key to being competitive. And when it came to being competitive in 2018, Thed Björk’s DHL pole to victory in Race 3 was a masterclass in dominance and came on the back of a dramatic Race 1 when a multi-car accident left several cars badly damaged.



“It was quite a scary moment for many of us,” said Björk, the fastest driver around Vila Real in a TCR-specification car and last year’s TAG Heuer Best Lap Trophy winner. “My car was on fire, I was boxed in and thinking about a different outcome. But as racing drivers we forget, and it’s one of my favourite circuits because when you get the flow it’s so nice to drive and so rewarding to be close to the walls. Vila Real is my track. I’m just spot on [there], attacking it in my way and taking on a challenge I am not afraid of. It’s a good atmosphere and the city appreciates us being there.”






Monteiro all set for a hero’s return


Portuguese hero Tiago Monteiro is back in action in Vila Real after his incredible recovery from the serious head and neck injuries he sustained in a testing crash in September 2017.



Reduced to the role of frustrated spectator last year, Monteiro will be part of the #WTCR2019SUPERGRID in his KCMG Honda Civic Type R TCR. After a strong start in Morocco, Monteiro’s season has been filled with frustration.



 But, as the one-time Formula One podium finisher insists, “there’s no way we’re going to give up. We know where we have to improve and we’ll keep on working.”



Fifty Vila Real street races run


This year’s WTCR Race of Portugal coincides with the 50th running of the Vila Real street race. Racing has been held on Vila Real’s demanding hillside roads since 1931, when Gaspar Sameiro and Ercilio Barbosa conquered the original 7.150-kilometre course in a Ford Model A.



Safety and financial factors meant races were held on an irregular basis until Eurosport Events brought the FIA World Touring Car Championship to the city in 2015. It provided stability and Vila Real’s first world-level event, albeit on a shorter layout with a handful of chicanes installed for safety reasons.




- Richard Rodgers, photos WTCR


Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/monteiro-wtcr-street-race-vila-real---193181.html

28.06.2019 / MaP

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