Although a puncture also scuppered the Portuguese driver’s race in race two at the Salzburgring, the SUNRED driver is delighted with a string of good results, with three consecutive fifth positions in the SR León 1.6T.
Shown by first qualifying in fourth on the grid two meetings ago at the Slovakiaring, the SUNRED-engined León has shown much improved performance bringing it closer to the four works engine SEAT Leóns on the grid.
Monteiro took his best finish of the year in Hungary, finishing fifth in both races and replicated that result yesterday at the Salzburgring, passing the Chevrolet Cruze of Alex MacDowall at the start and holding him off for another fifth place, finishing behind the three works Chevrolets and the SEAT of Gabriele Tarquini.
“In terms of performance, the end result is positive,” said Monteiro. “Our race pace was good in particular. I was attacking from the first lap to the last lap in the first race, to guarantee this fifth place finish for the team, which is a fine reward.”
In race two, Monteiro was the first driver to be hit by a puncture, and he would be the first of eight drivers to suffer the same blight in the race, which forced him to retire from the race.
In two weeks time it’s Monteiro’s home race at the Portimao circuit in the Algarve, Portugal. Although Special Tuning Racing will finally shed the TDI engine in Tom Boardman’s car due to a long standing arrangement with SEAT going back to Macau, it’s still not clear whether Monteiro will be running the new SEAT Sport 1.6 turbo or will be forced to continue with the SUNRED engine.
“Regardless of which version of the SEAT León we will have, we will prepare for these races with the greatest professionalism and the same determination,” says Monteiro. “Logically, racing in front of my fans, I would like to have the new engine, but if that is not the case, it won’t affect my motivation at all.”