Portuguese formula one driver Tiago Monteiro returned to his native country at the weekend to participate in the local rally event ‘Rallye Casinos do Algarve’.
The 2006 Midland-Spyker driver, who is likely to retain the race seat next year, drove the number ‘zero’ safety car, the newspaper Jornal Regional wrote on Sunday.
The report said the zero car ‘followed the (rally) cars through the adventurous terrain of the Monchique circuit’ but that 30-year-old Monteiro failed to finish his duties due to bad weather.
Media attention of the rally on Portugal’s south coast revealed that the region is planning the ‘Autodromo Internacional do Algarve’ circuit — a formula one-style venue.
The project, opposed by some local residents, is ‘currently under public discussion and has been in planning stages for the past few years’, Jornal Regional said.
Monteiro is quoted as promising to ‘give a helping hand’ to the project that he thought would be ‘seriously considered’ as a formula one venue if built.
Estoril, taken off the calendar for being unsafe, hosted the Portuguese GP until 1996.