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WTCC - Monza, FP1: Monteiro fastest despite puncture

A frightening moment just after the 20-minute mark

29 April 2017 - 09h55, by Olivier Ferret 

Tiago Monteiro kicked off the second round of the 2017 FIA World Touring Car Championship at Monza with the fastest time in the first free practice session on Saturday morning.

The Castrol Honda World Touring Car driver set a best time of 1m53.572s towards the end of the 45-minute session to head the Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo S60 of Thed Björk and Honda team-mate Norbert Michelisz.

Ex-Formula One driver Monteiro topped the times despite suffering a frightening moment just after the 20-minute mark when a front-left tyre failed under braking for the Ascari chicane. The Honda Civic WTCC ploughed through the gravel trap, but the Portuguese stabilised the car, was able to return to the pits and recover to set his benchmark time. “I could have destroyed the car, I was very lucky,” he said.

The ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Citroën C-Elysée WTCC of Briton Rob Huff was another to endure a front-left puncture, his tyre failing under braking for the first corner. He ended up fourth and the top WTCC Trophy driver, ahead of the fifth placed Honda of Ryo Michigami.

The FIA WTCC OSCARO Race of Italy weekend continues with Free Practice 2 at 12h local time.

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