Tiago Monteiro Sumar
Portuguese driver Tiago Monteiro is not your everyday racing driver. He did not drag his family around go-karting tracks as a young boy or have them re-mortgage their house to fund his passion; in fact his first laps behind the wheel of a race car came at the age of twenty, just for fun. He won the Porsche Carrera Cup Championship and Rookie of the Year in 1997, caught the racing bug and has never looked back.
His family were involved in the hotel management
business and this too was set to be Monteiro's destiny but his racing took over, moving straight into Formula 3 the following year and just five years later he was racing in the Champ Car World Series for the Fittipaldi-Dingman squad.
In 2004, Monteiro mixed his Nissan World Series programme with a Minardi testing deal but for 2005, Monteiro got his break into Formula one as a race driver with the Jordan Toyota team. Teaming up with the highly rated Narain Karthikeyan, Monteiro had a very solid first season in Formula One, completely eclipsing the efforts if his team-mate. Monteiro was the model of consistency and saw the chequered flag in all but one Grand Prix.
The US Grand Prix was a strange affair as only the six Bridgestone-shod runners took part, but Monteiro seized his chance and followed home the Ferrari duo of Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello to claim the podium position in what was just his ninth F1 start. Monteiro would go on to score another point with a fine drive to eighth position at Spa Francorchamps and now looks set to return again in 2006 as the team morphs into Midland F1.
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