Tiago Monteiro, team owner for the burgeoning Ocean Racing Technology team, is confident his new project will be capable of challenging for race wins in 2009 ahead of its GP2 Series debut.
Former Midland and Spyker Formula 1 driver Monteiro crossed the other side of the pit wall last month when he was revealed as the new manager for Spanish concern BCN Competicion, a deal that subsequently saw the team re-branded ORT and new personnel drafted in.
A substantial career shift for the 32-year-old, who will continue to race in the World Touring Car Championship in 2009 with SEAT, Monteiro told Crash.net Radio
that the decision to become the new owner of ORT was based on a desire to take on a new challenge.
“It is not really new in terms of an idea because in 2006, when I was in F1, an opportunity came up and there was a possibility I could be involved,” he said. “But at the time, it wasn't really something I wanted to do and I didn't have the time.
“Then, a few months ago, another opportunity came up and I thought the timing was more appropriate. My priority is still to drive and I still have a contract with SEAT next year, but I thought I could have a bit more availability this way and it was difficult to say no.”
It is an endeavour that began with the second round of the GP2 Asia Series, where ORT made its race debut just days after acquiring the assets of the BCN team. Despite this, lead driver Yelmer Buurman qualified an excellent sixth, considerably higher than the team had managed for most of the 2008 GP2 season.
Indeed, despite BCN going under as the only team not to have won a race in GP2, Monteiro is confident that, with the right people and the right attitude, ORT will experience race winning success.
“We acquired the assets of an existing team, but the big challenge is that while we have the assets and the licenses, I wanted to build a new team; a dream team with people that I know and trust.
“It is a big challenge being on the other side of the fence, recruiting people, negotiating with personnel and even sort the driver side of things… I have 11 years of experience though and I have learnt a lot, so I will try and use that experience.”