Andreas Bäckman has confirmed that he will not participate in the opening TCR Europe race at Monza due to ongoing pain in his hand caused by his accident last time out at Zolder.
Bäckman had qualified just 23rd fastest at Monza on Saturday morning as the Swede fought further pain in his hand, a legacy of his crash at Zolder.
Now the 25-year-old says he won’t race on Saturday at Monza as he seeks to further rest from his injury.
“I have so much pain now in the thumb because of the crash last race at Zolder,” said Bäckman to TouringCars.Net. “I still feel the pain now and it gets very tricky when you are on the track and trying to push.
“That is why I cannot drive for race one, because it’s too risky for me. Also, with the pain when you are fighting with other cars it’s very easy to get even worse with the hands.
“I hope [to race on Sunday] but I am not really sure. I still want to leave it open because maybe it will get better overnight when I have some rest, but I will not drive today.”
The withdrawl deals a hefty blow to Bäckman’s title challenge, as the Target Competition drive was 12th in the drivers’ championship heading into the race, already 87 points behind series leader Dan Lloyd.