Honda driver Tiago Monteiro has delighted local fans who flocked to the Vila Real street circuit by winning Sunday’s second World Touring Car Championship race at the high-speed street circuit.

Monteiro’s third win on home soil – his previous victories came at Estoril in 2008 and Portimão in 2010 – moved the Portuguese driver into second place in the Drivers’ Championship standings.

After securing pole position in Saturday’s thrilling qualifying session, Monteiro moved one step closer to a popular victory with a perfect getaway from the starting grid to lead Citroën’s Yvan Muller; his Honda teammates Norbert Michelisz and Rob Huff slotted in behind the Frenchman.

Behind the leading quartet, Race 1 winner Tom Coronel was penalised for blatantly jumping the start and handed a drive-through penalty, while series returnee Robert Dahlgren was forced to retire his Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo on Lap 2 with apparent engine troubles.

He wasn’t the only driver to suffer an engine drama, as Monteiro gave his engineers and fans a fright when he reported that his Civic’s engine had momentarily cut out on Lap 5. The problem fortunately proved not to be terminal, and he continued out front with Muller in hot pursuit.

The top four was never separated by more than four seconds, with the gap see-sawing lap after lap while the positions remained unchanged. Michelisz survived a late nudge from Huff, but held on to third to complete the podium.

Reigning champion José María López had a rather surprising race and was unable to keep pace with the top four, rapidly dropping back in the final laps to finish just ahead of Thed Björk’s Volvo. The Argentine driver could afford a poor weekend, and heads into the next round – his home race – with a 101-point advantage over Monteiro in the Drivers’ Championship standings.

Despite being saddled with a hefty 70kg of performance ballast this weekend, Nicky Catsburg and LADA teammate Hugo Valente both made great starts and finished seventh and ninth respectively, with the pair splitting the Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroëns of Mehdi Bennani and Tom Chilton to round out the top ten finishers.

The next round takes place at the Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo circuit in Argentina on August 7, which kickstarts the flyaway leg of the championship season.


2016 FIA WTCC Race of Portugal – Race 2 Final Classification (14 laps)
Driver Team / Entry Laps Result
1. Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Civic WTCC 14 27:53.321
2. Yvan Muller fr Citroën Racing WTCC C-Elysée 14 + 0.821
3. Norbert Michelisz Honda Racing Team JAS Civic WTCC 14 + 2.181
4. Rob Huff uk Honda Racing Team JAS Civic WTCC 14 + 3.402
5. José María López Citroën Racing WTCC C-Elysée 14 + 16.164
6. Thed Björk Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo S60 TC1 volvo 14 + 17.374
7. Nick Catsburg nl LADA Sport Rosneft Vesta WTCC 14 + 17.904
8. Mehdi Bennani Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën C-Elysée 14 + 21.614
9. Hugo Valente LADA Sport Rosneft Vesta WTCC 14 + 23.054
10. Tom Chilton uk Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën C-Elysée 14 + 23.364
11. James Thompson uk Münnich Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze 14 + 28.125
12. Grégoire Demoustier fr Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën C-Elysée 14 + 33.547
13. Gabriele Tarquini it LADA Sport Rosneft Vesta WTCC 14 + 34.675
14. John Filippi Campos Racing Chevrolet RML Cruze 14 + 47.223
15. Ferenc Ficza Zengõ Motorsport Honda Civic WTCC 14 + 47.654
16. Tom Coronel nl ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze 13 + 1 lap
Not Classified
DNF. Dániel Nagy Zengõ Motorsport Honda Civic WTCC 3 Spin
DNF. Robert Dahlgren Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo S60 TC1 volvo 1 Engine

Image via FIA WTCC

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.

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