WTCC Race of Japan thrills

Honda’s Tiago Monteiro was delighted at the weekend following his victory at the FIA World Touring Car Championship’s Race of Japan Race 2 at Motegi. The Japanese car manufacturer was working incessantly over the summer break to give their racing team the competitive edge to narrow the margin with Citroën. Race 2 delivered just that in home ground, in front of the home fans and Monteiro felt like a king. Monteiro had earlier faced a stroke of bad luck on Race 1 and was forced to go to the back of the grid for an enforced engine change, which limited his chances. Race 2 was a different story. Starting from second place in the grid, it took him little time to overtake pole position Hugo Valente on the first corner. Honda had the power they had sought and fought for. From then it was all Monteiro on a superb display and a celebration of his 201st race start at WTCC. Valente did manage to keep his second place and the third driver to make the podium was Rob Huff who narrowly beat Citroën’s Sebastien Loeb. Meanwhile, Race 1 had the strong dominance of the current Champion. José María “Pechito” López added a seventh triumph to his fantastic tally this season and now leads the FIA WTCC by 74 points from Yvan Muller and 98 points from Loeb. For his part, Norbert Michelisz who had gained valuable points by earning the pole position in Race 1, was unable to keep the lead from the Argentine although remained a constant threat to López. The third driver in contention and actually making it to the Podium was Honda’s Gabriele Tarquini who also chased but had to finally settle in third. Michelisz continues heading the YOKOHAMA Trophy with 136 points with Tom Chilton closely following on 106 points. The next WTCC Race takes place in Shanghai, China, from 25th-27th September 2015.