Tiago Monteiro ruled out of return in Vila Real races

Tiago Monteiro ruled out of return in Vila Real races

Tiago Monteiro
Photo: Paulo Maria / DPPI

Tiago Monteiro has been ruled out of returning to the driving seat for his home round of the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) in Portugal, with the Honda driver continuing to be substituted by Benjamin Lessennes.

Monteiro has already missed the first four events of the 2018 season as he continues to recover from the testing accident that took him out of action in September 2017.

In the meantime he has been supporting Lessennes at Boutsen Ginion Racing, with the young Belgian joint 14th in the drivers’ championship standings.

Monteiro had been hoping to return to action for his home races on the streets of Vila Real in Portugal, but that has now been delayed due to his continued recovery.

“I want to come back and it’s very frustrating not being able to race in my own country, in front of my home fans and on a circuit as spectacular as Vila Real,” said Monteiro.

“But it’s crucial that my recovery is 100%. In reality, 9 months of recovery is pretty minimal for certain types of injuries such as mine. I am close to it, but we must be patient.

“I know this patience will be rewarded in the end because I will come back stronger. I did my best to be ready in time for this special weekend but it’s too early from a medical point of view. However, I’ll be ready for my fans.”

Monteiro’s focus will instead be on supporting Honda’s WTCR drivers, as well as meeting his fans who memorably saw him claim victory in the Main Race in the WTCC in 2016.

“I will approach the races from a different perspective, but it will still be rewarding,” added Monteiro. “The success of a driver is not only built behind the wheel but also with what the team does in the pits. I know that I will be of great help.

“Plus, I will be close to my fans this weekend in Vila Real, and to all the people who, during the last months, who have shown their trust and support.”