Tiago Monteiro to return at Suzuka
"I’m not setting any targets; I just want to have fun"
Honda announced that Tiago Monteiro will make his long-awaited return to motor racing at the next round of the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup at Suzuka, Japan.
The 42-year-old Portuguese will drive the Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda Civic Type R TCR that has been raced by Benjamin Lessennes and Ma Qinghua in his absence this year.
Tiago has undergone an intense period of recovery since sustaining head and neck injuries in a testing incident in September 2017 and is now ready to resume competition at the same circuit at which he made his Honda debut in World Touring Cars in 2012.
On Doctors’ advice, he will not race at the season-ending WTCR Race of Macau. He will, however, attend the event in an advisory capacity.
“I cannot even begin to tell you how good it feels to be back. 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.”
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