Tiago Monteiro gives KCMG first WTCR win with Civic Type R TCR
KCMG became the first Asian team to win a WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup race with a sensational drive by Tiago Monteiro on the streets of Vila Real.
The Portuguese started his home race from second place and overtook team-mate Attila Tassi – who had started from pole position for the first time – when the Hungarian’s Honda Civic Type R TCR developed a spark-plug issue that led to his retirement.
It was the sixth WTCR win of the year for the JAS Motorsport-built car; the KCMG versions of which had taken a double points finish in 10th and 11th on Race Two’s partially-reversed grid.
Esteban Guerrieri’s third place in Race Two allowed the Argentinian to maintain his lead in the Drivers’ Championship, and for ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport to stay on top in the Teams’ title race. Team-mate Bebu Girolami had a best finish of seventh.
Colin Mullan and Max Faulkner took their best finish of the season with a fine second place in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge at Mosport, Canada.
With their regular LA Honda World Racing car unavailable due to the damage sustained as a result of their puncture-induced crash last week, the pair had borrowed the Watkins Glen-winning car of Mat Pombo/Mike LaMarra and drove well all weekend.
It was the fifth podium in as many races for cars run by the LAP Motorsports team and helped lift them into title contention, just 19 points off the series lead.
Team-mates Shelby Blackstock and Tom O’Gorman were early retirees due to a technical issue, but retain the championship lead while LA Honda World Racing continue to head the Teams’ points.
Atlanta Speedwerks duo Todd Lamb/Brian Henderson suffered a suspension issue at the end of final practice, causing them to miss qualifying and start 14th and last. They staged a brilliant recovery to fourth.
HART’s reigning World Challenge TCR Champion Ryan Eversley never even had a chance to race as co-driver was run off the road by a reckless rival early on and suffered race-ending damage.
ALM Motorsports increased their TCR Iberico Teams’ Championship lead with three podium finishes on a bruising weekend in Vila Real.
Robin Vaks was on-course for victory in Race One when he was hit from behind on the penultimate lap and pitched into a barrier, but did limp home in third spot. He added second place in Race Two.
Team-mate Mattias Vahtel was second and fourth to lie third in the Drivers’ points; one place behind Vaks.
Daniel Lloyd and the Dongfeng Honda Racing Team remain in TCR China title contention following a strong weekend at Zhejiang.
After qualifying on pole position, Lloyd twice finished second, but was stripped of one result when his car, which is run by the MacPro Racing Team, failed a ride-height examination.
Team-mate Martin Xie was promoted to third as a result while newcomer Zou Si Rui was fifth and sixth in the two races to ensure DHRT, which is run by MacPro Racing Team, retained second in the Teams’ Championship.
Mads Fischer, JAS Motorsport TCR Project Leader, said: “It’s been an incredible weekend in the WTCR, especially for Tiago Monteirio – a member of the JAS family since late 2012 – who has come back to winning since his major accident in 2017. I’m just sorry for Attila, who scored a fantastic pole position and did not deserve to lose the chance of a first win like this. The performance this weekend a real testament to both the KCMG and Münnich teams, who are working together and sharing data now in a bid to make sure a Civic Type R TCR driver wins the title. We’ve seen strong performances around the world on what’s been an extremely good weekend for JAS cars.”
Main: Tiago Monteiro, KCMG Honda Civic Type R TCR, WTCR, Vila Real, Portugal (credit: David Noels/HME); Lower (in order): 1 Tiago Monteiro, KCMG Honda Civic Type R TCR, WTCR, Vila Real, Portugal (credit: David Noels/HME); 2 Attila Tassi, KCMG Honda Civic Type R TCR, WTCR, Vila Real, Portugal (credit: David Noels/HME); 3 Attila Tassi (L) with Tiago Monteiro, KCMG Honda Civic Type R TCR, WTCR, Vila Real, Portugal (credit: David Noels/HME); 4 Esteban Guerrieri, ALL-INKL.COM Munnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR, WTCR, Vila Real, Portugal (credit: David Noels/HME); 5 Colin Mullan/Max Faulkner, LA Honda World Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR, IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, Mosport, Canada (credit: Halston Pitman); 6 Shelby Blackstock/Tom O'Gorman, LA Honda World Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR, IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, Mosport, Canada (credit: Halston Pitman); 7 Brian Henderson/Todd Lamb, Atlanta Speedwerks Honda Civic Type R TCR, IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, Mosport, Canada (credit: Halston Pitman); 8 Robin Vaks, ALM Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR, TCR Iberico, Vila Real, Portugal (credit: TCR Iberico); 9 Mattias Vahlet, ALM Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR, TCR Iberico, Vila Real, Portugal (credit: TCR Iberico); 10 Martin Xie, Dongfeng Honda Racing Team Honda Civic Type R TCR, TCR China, Zhejiang, China (credit: TCR China);
About JAS Motorsport
Founded in 1995, JAS Motorsport is one of the world's leading touring car teams and constructors. Initially fielding Alfa Romeos in the ITC, JAS became a technical partner of Honda in 1998 and has been at the forefront of its activities with touring cars and rallying ever since. In 2012, JAS was chosen to develop, in partnership with Honda R&D, the Civic WTCC, with which it claimed the Manufacturers' world title a year later. JAS designed and built the Civic Type R TCR, which has claimed 19 major titles so far (seven with the current model), and is also responsible for the build of the NSX GT3 Evo race car.