Former Grand Prix and ChampCar driver Tiago Monteiro was back behind the wheel for the SUNRED World Touring Car Championship team overnight, with the Portuguese driver piloting a 1.6-litre turbo SEAT León at Valencia. Monteiro has not yet been confirmed as a driver with the team for the 2012 season.
“It was with great pleasure that I accepted SEAT SUNRED’s invitation. They were good tests, very profitable for everyone,” he is quoted as saying on his official website.
This was the first outing for Monteiro since the season-ending race at Macau; the 35-year-old finished sixth in the Drivers’ Championship standings with three third-placed finishes.
Monteiro used the test as an opportunity to familiarise himself with the new SEAT engine that has been installed in the León; last year, the team ran with smoky turbos developed by the Lehmann engine group.
“I did forty laps with very competitive times. The car is very high-performance, it has considerably improved since the last leg of the 2011 championship. All the changes we tested were positive both in terms of performance as well as reliability,” he added.
Monteiro added that he hopes to announce his 2012 plans soon. SUNRED has so far confirmed only one driver in its line-up, with young Spaniard Pepe Oriola having been re-signed for the upcoming season.