Tiago Monteiro will miss his third consecutive World Touring Car Championship event in Macau next week, being replaced once again by Esteban Guerrieri, with the Portuguese racer still needing time to recover from injury.
The Honda driver was injured in a testing shunt in Spain in September, which forced him to miss the races in China and Japan in October.
Now the erstwhile championship leader will miss a third straight race weekend, effectively putting the final nail in the coffin for Monteiro’s championship hopes.
“I’m extremely disappointed to have to miss the chance to continue my fight for the WTCC crown and defend my Guia Race title,” said Monteiro. “Macau is one of the most challenging circuits in the world and one I love racing on.
“I feel ready to return and I’ve been able to increase my training so it’s now at virtually the same level as before the accident. Unfortunately, despite this, the risk of a second impact on my body is still too great and I need to wait a little while longer before I’m fully healed.
“I cannot even begin to explain how it makes me feel to see my title ambitions slipping away. All I can do is continue to train hard and aim to return in Qatar to help Honda’s title ambitions.”
Argentine racer Esteban Guerrieri stood in for Monteiro in Japan and the former Campos Racing driver will continue to do so in Macau – an event which he had not originally featured on the entry list for.