Tiago Monteiro to make racing return in Suzuka WTCR

Tiago Monteiro to make racing return in Suzuka WTCR

Tiago Monteiro
Photo: Honda

Tiago Monteiro will make his return to racing in next weekend’s FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) races at Suzuka in Japan, marking the end of a 13-month break in racing following a testing crash in September 2017.

The 42-year-old will get behind the wheel of the Honda Civic Type-R which has been raced by Benjamin Lessennes and Ma Qing Hua so far this year.

Monteiro has spent the past year in an intensive recovery phase after the accident which curtailed his title challenge in 2017, whilst battling for the WTCC crown.

However, Monteiro will not take part in the season-ending race on the streets of Macau on the advice of doctors, instead attending in an advisory capacity.

“I cannot even begin to tell you how good it feels to be back,” said Monteiro. “There were times when the situation looked pretty bleak, but I never lost hope that this day would come and that has kept me determined to push harder than ever to get back to where I want to be.

“Coming to race weekends all year and watching other people do what I should be doing has been tearing me up inside, so I think Suzuka is going to be quite emotional.

“The fact that I’ll be returning at Honda’s home circuit – the same place I made my first WTCC start with them in 2012 – is also very special and a great way to repay the faith and support they’ve shown me throughout my recovery period.

“I’m not setting any targets; I just want to have fun, get comfortable and play myself in at my own pace before I come back full-time in 2019, and that – along with the advice of the doctors – is why I won’t do Macau.

“I am so grateful to the professionals that have helped me in my recovery, my family, friends and supporters; you’ve all been amazing throughout this tough time.”