FIA World Touring Car Championship leader Tiago Monteiro has sadly been forced to withdraw from this weekend’s event in China on medical advice.

The Portuguese driver has spent the past five weeks recovering from a high-speed testing incident at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya but, following an examination today (October 10) in Portugal, he has been advised not to compete.

Gabriele Tarquini, 2009 WTCC Champion and Tiago’s Honda team-mate in the series from 2013-15, will stand in for him at this weekend’s Race of China at Ningbo.

Tiago Monteiro

Tiago Monteiro 18

“I’m incredibly disappointed that I cannot race in China. As a team, we’ve worked incredibly hard to make it to the top of the championship and this is a huge setback to everybody. Unfortunately, the human body is what it is and despite the outstanding efforts of my medical team, I just need more time. My focus now shifts to returning to fitness in time for Motegi later this month and resuming my title challenge there. I must say a big thank you to Gabriele for stepping in. He’s a great friend and was a fantastic team-mate for many years in the WTCC, so there’s nobody else I’d rather have in the car to support my title push.”

Castrol Honda WTCC
Gabriele Tarquini

Gabriele Tarquini 2

“I’m pleased to return to the Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team this weekend, although I wish it had been in happier circumstances. Tiago is a fantastic driver who has rightfully earned his place at the top of the championship and it’s a real shame he has to miss this weekend. I’ll do the very best job I can for Tiago and the team this weekend and hope that the combination of my experience of the Civic WTCC from 2014-15 and the levelling factor of a brand-new circuit can help me fight for a strong pair of results.”

Castrol Honda WTCC
WTCC Race of China

Ningbo International Speedpark, China

WTCC 2017, Round 7