Sebastián Montoya is just three races away from finishing his first and probably only season in European Formula Regional.
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After leading the rookie standings for two months, today he is second among the twenty rookies and tenth overall out of 39 riders. Even so, his goal is to finish as the best of the rookies and start next year in Formula 3 .
On the way to the next category of his dream ladder to F -1 appears in October the Petit Le Mans race, of the United States Endurance Championship, in which he will unofficially be with his father, Juan Pablo Montoya. There, together with the Swede, Henrik Hedman, they will seek the victory that has eluded them in the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 6 Hours of Glen, their two previous competitions.
In the midst of this thirst for triumphs, Sebastián Montoya, driver of the Escudería Telmex-Claro, made a stop to speak with EL TIEMPO. During the dialogue, a general feeling: it's time to believe the story.
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In May, the last time we spoke, he was the undisputed leader of the rookies. Today he is second, 15 points behind Italian Leonardo Fornaroli… what went wrong?
It's honestly hard to say where we've gone wrong. I could say that we have been very fast, but we have not managed to score points. Motorsport is not easy. Luck also has a lot to do with it. With the last few races, I have realized that I am ready to achieve important victories. I think that at the beginning of the year, when I scored the most points, I lacked speed. Today, when I have the speed, I don't score points. The speed and power are there. Only the last piece remains to be specified.
You had already overtaken Fornaroli in Formula 4, what do you think happened this year?
He took the lead in the penultimate career that we have. And, for example, he has never stood on the podium for best rookie of the day. He told me: 'I don't understand how you are behind me in the championship'. I replied, 'Me neither. I have been very fast!’. The truth is that whenever we compete we are equal. Of course I want to have him behind me (laughs), but it's very good to compete with him.
On October 23, at the end of the season, where will we see Sebastián Montoya?
As we talked about at the beginning of the year, in the first place of the newbies. I feel like I have everything to do it.
At the time of the European Regional Formula he has already played two endurance races with his father. His speed, he told me, has been amazing…
Yes. It's funny because my dad has always been characterized by aggressive handling of him. He runs hard, but on the rules. He never does anything dirty. And I have learned that, as I have shown.
What have those two races, Sebring and Glen, left you?< /h3>
I have learned that one should not run to crash. One must always be within the limits: drive with respect and prudence so as not to damage the car, but also be aggressive enough so that they don't mess with one.
That overtaking of Swiss Louis Deletraz in the 6 Hours of Glen…
It was tremendous! He had the space to go on and closed. I'm not capable of hitting him (laughs), but if we come to a stop, a curve, and he wants to go deeper, then go ahead, I invite him to try to pass me. I will not give in.
Penalizan a Sebastian por pase. La cara de papá lo explica todo. pic.twitter.com/QHvNdNj7mR
— Andrés Felipe Balaguera Sarmiento (@balagueraaa) June 26, 2022
His father was clear two weeks ago: 'Sebastián is the priority, what happens to me doesn't matter'…
It makes me a little sad because my dad likes to run, but it's already at the point where he doesn't want to go to the gym every day (laughs). I look at him and say: 'Pa', you're fast enough, and doing the most basic exercise you'll still be just as good. In these races of duration we still have a lot to give.
This year they have Petit Le Mans left , which is 10 hours, and the only thing missing is his officialization as the third pilot…
Yes. In Sebring I was going so fast I didn't understand a thing. At the Glen I rode but I felt like I had to push a lot. That track is very European in style. It's funny because in Formula Regional one pays to compete. There in the Glen I felt like a professional driver. Most of the cars are very close together and one has to defend oneself with everything. I wanted to jump much faster, but I was afraid of damaging the car (laughs). We have been close to winning with my dad. Now, if Petit becomes official, we will go for that victory.
Everything points to the fact that in 2023 we will see him in Formula 3…
Yessss, next year I hope to be in Formula 3. If we manage make the step, with a good team, as it should be, we will have the chance to have a great season. In the simulators they tell me: 'Sebas, how do you go so fast?' And I say: 'The car is incredible'. Confidence with the F-3 car is tremendous. I feel like I want to jump and the car tells me 'do it, don't be afraid', so I have no choice but to do it.
ANDRÉS FELIPE BALAGUERA SARMIENTO
SPORTS ON TIME
In networks: @balagueraaa
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