Boutsen Ginion Racing driver Tiago Monteiro will miss the start of the WTCR FIA World Touring Car Cup as his recovery from injury continues.
The Portuguese driver has not raced since a high-speed testing incident last September. Despite a strong recovery, he has not yet reached a suitable condition to return to racing. No timeframe has been set for this return.
Boutsen Ginion Racing Test and Reserve Driver Benjamin Lessennes who won the 2017 TCR Benelux title with the team will deputise for Tiago; starting with this week’s official pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain.
Tiago Monteiro #18: « I knew this was a possibility as the way the human body is not an exact science. Although my physical condition has recovered extremely well, the same has not yet happened with my vision and the result is that I cannot yet return to competition. My recovery has been remarkable and the treatment I’ve received from my medical team has been incredible, but I simply cannot take the risk at this stage. I did everything that was within my reach, but both my body and vision are not yet fully recovered. I must take this opportunity to thank the fantastic team that has worked tirelessly to support me through this difficult process. Of course, I’m incredibly disappointed. I wanted the effects of the accident to be behind me and to start afresh for the new season. That’s not possible just yet, but I will continue my recovery as hard as I can in the expectation that everything will return to normal soon. Until then, I will support the team and my Honda colleagues and use my experience and knowledge as much as possible to help them achieve strong results. I may not be on-track, but I will be on-hand to make as much of a contribution as I can. It is very important to maintain team spirit and provide this support. »
Benjamin Lessennes – Test and Reserve Driver : « I am very pleased to make my FIA WTCR race debut with Boutsen Ginion Racing, although I wish it had been in happier circumstances. I don’t know how many races I will do before Tiago returns to his car, but I would like to send my best wishes to him for a speedy recovery. I have some good experience of the new Honda Civic Type R TCR from having tested late last year and more recently with Boutsen Ginion Racing at Zandvoort. I’m confident we can do a good job, although it is very clear that the level of competition in WTCR this year will be higher than what we’ve faced previously. »