Portuguese star Tiago Monteiro will race a new Honda Civic TCR run by Boutsen-Ginion Racing in the 2018 FIA World Touring Car Cup, it was announced on Friday.
Monteiro has been a factory Honda driver for the past five full seasons, and in 2017 he was in the running for the overall WTCC title before a testing injury sidelined him for the rest of the season.
The regulations for WTCR in 2018 prohibit the direct involvement of manufacturer teams, so Monteiro has been forced to find an alternative drive for the season with the support of Honda and JAS Motorsport.
“I’m delighted to remain part of the Honda Racing family for another year,” said Monteiro. “Since I first worked with Honda in 2012, I feel we’ve been getting stronger and stronger by the season and by last year we were in a very good place to win the championship before my accident.
“The past six months have been incredibly tough, but thanks to some amazing support I’m now well on my way to getting back in a racing car.
“Boutsen Ginion Racing are a strong team, who I’ve won races with in TCR before, so I can’t wait to drive the car and for the season to start.”
JAS Motorsport will provide technical support to the team throughout the year, with an on-site supply of spare parts and technical assistance.
The news comes alongside the announcement that Monteiro’s replacement for the tail-end of the 2017 season, Argentine Esteban Guerrieri, will also race a Honda in 2018 for Münnich Motorsport.
“We are pleased that the Honda Civic TCR, built at our Milan headquarters, will contest the World Touring Car Cup with teams with such strong records as ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport and Boutsen Ginion Racing,” said JAS Motorsport CEO Alessandro Mariani.
“We have good relationships with both teams and a relationship with Honda that dates back to 1998, and we look forward to supporting the teams in WTCR as they hunt for more success.
“Since it first turned a wheel last October, the Civic has undergone more than 3000km testing, tackled a 24-hour race on its competitive debut and has proven to be an improvement in all areas over the previous model, which delivered 12 championship titles in 2017. We look forward to the challenge ahead.”