Tiago Monteiro (Honda Civic) has returned to the World Touring Car Championship (WTCR) with a 15th place finish in the first of three races in Suzuka, Japan, after missing 415 days due to a serious accident.
Tiago Monteiro said he felt “in a dream” during the warm-up lap, but “then it seemed like [the last time he drove] that it had been two or three weeks ago.”
The Italian Kevin Ceccon was the 14th different winner of this season, with an Alfa Romeo, the only mark in the championship that had not yet won this year.
Tiago Monteiro completed 11 laps of the Japanese track with a time of 26.50.083 minutes, 7.816 seconds behind the winner, in 15th place among the 23 riders who saw the chessboard.
“Being back is a fantastic feeling. The whole weekend has been very emotional and exciting and I’m enjoying every moment,” said the Porto driver.
Monteiro confessed that the heating back was “very tense and strange”.
“I felt like I was in a dream like I was not even there and at the same time, like [if I had been last time] two or three weeks ago, it was surreal,” he said.
However, during the race “everything was normal”: “I did my test, to understand the car, I tried to pull a little and have fun. And I did, I had a lot of fun,” he concluded.
On Sunday will be disputed to two other races of the Japanese round of the WTCR, ninth and penultimate stage of the championship, in which the Portuguese go from the 16th place.