Daniel Teixeira emerged as a title contender in the Touring Car category this season. Despite facing a challenging year, the consistent opposition from Spain added a unique and special flavor to the titles he ultimately secured.
After winning the Iberian Supercars Endurance TCR title and losing the Campeonato de Portugal de Velocidade title in the last race of 2022, the JT59 Racing Team driver was determined to go all the way this year.
Daniel Teixeira has already shown himself to be one of the most reliable drivers in the paddock, putting in remarkable performances that sometimes put him in a position to fight with cars from higher performance divisions.
However, the driver from Trás-os-Montes is racing with a team structure that doesn't have the resources of bigger teams, which, while a challenge, shows that even smaller teams can win in Iberian Supercars. "The biggest challenge for me is always trying to 'do more with less', in other words, with an almost family structure, fighting against highly professional teams with cars much more recent than mine," emphasises Daniel Teixeira.
To a large extent, the JT59 Racing Team driver's biggest opponent was the reliability of his Cupra TCR, which resulted in a number of retirements that cost him valuable points in the championship accounts.
Despite his excellent results whenever he managed to see the chequered flag, an unexpected but very consistent opponent began to emerge, taking the title decider to the last event of the season, the Estoril Season Finale by NAPA, bringing back to the team run by Joaquim Teixeira, Daniel's father, the frustrations of 2022, when the Portuguese TCR title eluded them at the last moment.
"I understand that the biggest opponent is always the one who is closest in terms of the championship standings which is why this year it was Borja (Hormigos) and Héctor (Hernández). They've always been very consistent throughout the season, which has taken the Turismos titles right down to the last round," said Daniel Teixeira.
The notable strength of the Autoworks Motorsport BMW M240i Racing from Spain lay precisely in its consistency. This proved to be a significant advantage, especially considering one of Daniel Teixeira's weaknesses, stemming from technical issues with his Cupra TCR.
However, at the Estoril showdown, the Cupra TCR did not disappoint the transmontano driver, securing victories in the Touring Car category for both the Iberian Supercars and the Campeonato de Portugal de Velocidade. Additionally, he clinched the TCR division titles in both series.
It was a season in full swing and that would have been enough to make 2023 a special year for Daniel Teixeira, but the feeling ended up being stronger, given that his father, hillclimb champion Joaquim Teixeira, had some health problems that affected his duties at the team he leads.
"It's always a source of pride and satisfaction for everyone at the JT59 Racing Team, we've worked hard throughout the season, especially my father who is largely responsible for all of this, even in a complicated year like 2023, he did everything he could to ensure that our goals were achieved," emphasised the reigning Iberian Touring Champion, who added: “the end of the year balance is naturally positive, we achieved all the goals we set ourselves, and we won 6 of the 7 races we finished, among the Touring cars, so it would be difficult to do better."
There's no doubt that Daniel Teixeira is proud of the titles he achieved this year in circumstances that were sometimes very complicated, even on a personal level, but the feeling of achievement and duty done doesn't stop him from looking ahead to next season.
Having enriched his tally with this year's titles, Daniel Teixeira's goal for next season is quite clear: "I look forward to returning in 2024 to defend the titles we've earned. I have confidence in the efforts made by the promoters and organizers of this championship, and the results are evident. The grids are fantastic, not just in terms of quantity but, more importantly, in terms of quality."
The JT59 Racing Team may lack the financial resources of better-funded structures, yet it diligently employs all available means to elevate its driver in the fiercely competitive grid. Daniel Teixeira, in turn, responds with top-level performances. It's evident that the two parties support each other symbiotically—a clear illustration of the sum of the parts being greater than the whole.