Fernando Monje took his fourth win from six in the FIA European Touring Car Cup at the Salzburgring, and is looking forward to joining the WTCC grid from Brazil once the Cup concludes at Imola.
Fernando Monje has a 12 point lead over Peter Rikli, but the consistency of Rikli’s Honda Civic plus the strong results from Slovakia and Salzburg for Krenek Motorsport’s Petr Fulín and his BMW mean Monje will still need to have a good weekend on 24th June in Imola to take the 2012 ETCC crown.
If it hadn’t been for the disasters at Slovakia, with a broken flat floor ending his race with a puncture in race one, and then contact in race two which saw him forced to retire and serve a grid drop this weekend, it’s likely Monje would have wrapped up the Super 2000 class title at the Salzburgring.
“Of course it’s always good to win as soon as possible,” said Monje to TouringCarTimes. “What happened in Slovakia is normal, not only in one race, I had problems in both, but those things happen. And now (here) it was a great race like in Monza, so we take a 12 point lead to Imola which is a nice difference to have.”
Monje is also entered for the World Touring Car Championship this year, making his debut last month at Valencia, but after a tough weekend for all the SUNRED drivers without the latest SEAT engine, the plan to compete at all non-clashing WTCC/ETCC rounds was changed, and Monje will instead join the field when the new engine is available to him in Brazil.
“We’ll be in Curitiba for sure with the new engine,” said Monje. “We did our home race in Valencia, but looking at the performance of the car we wanted to wait till Curitiba, even though now Monteiro’s going very fast as the SUNRED team have done a great job improving the car. But for now we want to focus on ETCC where we can be champions, and then we can do a full programme (of WTCC) from Curitiba until the end.”
ETCC S2000 Drivers’ Standings after Austria