Gabriele Tarquini out of Marrakech race after practice crash

Gabriele Tarquini will miss the start of the 2014 WTCC season after an incident in the final practice session, when the Honda driver was hit by Gianni Morbidelli’s Münnich Motorsport Chevrolet while it was off the circuit.

The 52-year-old Italian had gone wide at the second chicane on dust which had been left after the previous FRMSA Series race, just under ten minutes into the session. Tarquini was waiting in the corner to rejoin, when the Münnich Motorsport Chevrolet of Morbidelli came across the chicane, also sliding on the dust and straight into the side of the other Italian’s Civic.

The car has been returned to the garage but no work is going on the car, which is now being prepared to be shipped to Paul Ricard where it will be reshelled next week.

Honda Europe Motorsport Manager William De Braekeleer confirmed the car should be able to be repaired for next week’s race at the Paul Ricard circuit, but the damage to the car, most specifically on the A-pillar which has damaged the rollcage, is unrepairable during this weekend. As a result, Tarquini is forced to miss the first meeting of 2014, but the 2009 champion is OK after the incident.

The Münnich Motorsport Chevrolet of Gianni Morbidelli will also be forced to miss qualifying, but the team are hopeful of having it repaired for tomorrow’s races.