Unwell Franz Engstler replaced by Masaki Kano

Unwell Franz Engstler replaced by Masaki Kano

Photo by FIA WTCC Media

German Franz Engstler will not contest this weekend’s World Touring Car Championship races in Japan due to illness, with the Liqui Moly Team Engstler driver being replaced by Japanese Masaki Kano.

Engstler, 52, is expected to recover by the time the WTCC heads to Shanghai in China for the next meeting on the 2nd and 3rd November. Engstler’s absence this weekend is the first time since joining the WTCC for Macau at the end of 2007 that he has missed a round of the championship – a total of 138 consecutive races.

Kano, 37, has contested every single Japanese WTCC event since the series’ first visited the country in 2008. He has driven a BMW each time for Liqui Moly Team Engstler.

Kano takes the wheel of a turbocharged BMW 320 TC for the second time – his first being in the 2011 event. His best result in the series to-date has been a 12th placed finish in the first race in 2011.