Monteiro – whose last WTCC victory came on home soil in 2008 at Estoril – will be keen to add another home victory to his roster in tomorrow’s opening race, after headining both Q1 and A2 qualifying sessions with some blistering times around the challenging Portimao circuit.
The local driver edged out Chevrolet’s Yvan Muller by just half a tenth in the final run, and his run to pole was all the more impressive after recovering from a brush with the BMW of Andy Priaulx, which forced the SEAT driver into the pits for repairs in Q1.
Third-placed Augusto Farfus made it three different manufacturers in the top-three placings, with the Brazilian posting a single flying lap to knock Gabriele Tarquini out of third spot.
Row three will be occupied by Robert Huff and Norbert Michelisz, with Jordi Gené and Andy Priaulx lining up on the following row, with Alain Menu rounding out the RML Chevrolet representation in ninth spot.
The impressive Colin Turkington was the sole Independent Trophy runner to make it into Q2 – a feat rarely achieved by an Independent Trophy driver, it must be said – and he continued to embarrass the establishment with another impressive showing.
With both factory BMWs and all three Chevrolets making the final qualifying session, it was no surprise that a few of the SEAT drivers would be among the higher-profile casualties at the end of Q1, with Michel Nykjær, Fredy Barth and Tom Coronel (suffering a reported oil leak) just missing out on competing for a top-ten grid slot.
Of no surprise at all was to see Andrei Romanov round out the running order with yet another last-placed result in qualifying. The Russian – who showed some pace in the second practice session earlier today – has generally looked out of his depth this season, and it would be no surprise to see his seat at Liqui Moly Engstler be up for consideration.
FIA 2010 WTCC Round 5 Portimao Qualifying Results:
[Original images via FIA WTCC official website]