WTCR DRIVERS FORM GUARD OF HONOUR AS MONTEIRO RETURNS
AFTER 415 DAYS OF FIGHTING
back on track in WTCR OSCARO
scenes at Suzuka signal Honda driver’s long-awaited return
been dreaming about this for so long”
Tiago Monteiro is back competing again after 415 days of fighting to
recover from serious head and neck injuries sustained in a testing
crash in Spain.
In emotional scenes at WTCR JVCKENWOOD Race of Japan this morning,
drivers from the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO
formed a guard of honour in the Suzuka pit lane. They then watched
Monteiro take to the Suzuka track for Free Practice 1 before following
the Portuguese on to the 5.807-kilometre circuit.
Speaking over live intercom, the Boutsen Ginion Racing Honda driver
said: "This is a very emotional time, to come back after 14
months. I am trying to focus on practice, but there are a lot of
emotions, so many. I've got tears in my eyes. I've had an unbelievable
reception from everyone in the WTCR Eurosport family. I've been
dreaming about this for so long and now we are here. That is why I am
in love with this sport and this championship."
Monteiro’s first flying lap was a 2m16.453s although the ex-grand prix
racer insisted before the travelling to Japan that performance was
secondary to reacclimatising to the rigours of World Touring Car
François Ribeiro, Head of Eurosport Events, the WTCR promoter, said:
“This was a very emotional moment not just for Tiago but for everyone
at Honda and the entire WTCR family. We are so happy he’s back where he
belongs on track in a racing car.”
The WTCR JVCKENWOOD Race of Japan weekend continues with Free Practice
2 at 11h25.