Top Honda Racing driver Tiago Monteiro secured the factory teams' first podium of the new World Touring Car Championship season in race two and the Portuguese driver is certain he can close the gap on his Citroen rivals.

Monteiro finished fourth behind a Citroen Racing 1-2-3 in the first race of the 2015 WTCC season in Argentina but went one better in race two, claiming third place and Honda's first podium. The consistent results enabled him to rise to third in the drivers' standings at the end of the opening round.

"We are clearly closer to the competition than last year and with more updates coming I am confident we will increase our challenge as the season progresses," Monteiro said. "We will keep fighting and put pressure on them wherever we can. It was so horribly hot in the cars, I have never driven in such heat. But we have done well and our results are reward for all the hard work of the team to get the season underway with such positive results."

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Despite Monteiro's best efforts and relatively trouble-free running, he finished both races over 10 seconds behind the winning Citroen driver, demonstrating the gap Honda are looking to close up.

The Portuguese driver's team-mate Gabriele Tarquini was satisfied with his consistent points-scoring weekend, as the Italian driver notched up fourth and fifth place finishes at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo.

"It was good to start the season with points," Tarquini said. "I had expected us to be more competitive than last year and I think we are but there is still more improvement needed to meet the big challenge of the opposition."

The Honda factory team are already shifting their concentration to the next round in Morocco in April.

"The next two events are very different to Argentina," Tarquini explained. Marrakesh is a street circuit with high kerbs and it is almost a lottery. Then Hungary is a much better circuit for the Civic so I hope we can gain even more performance by then."

The second round of the WTCC season commences on the 18-19 April in Marrakesh, Morocco.