Photo: TCR Series

Gabriele Tarquini will be unavailable to replace Monteiro in Japan and Macau

Tiago Monteiro’s China stand-in at Honda, Gabriele Tarquini, will be unavailable for the next two rounds of the World Touring Car Championship should the Portuguese driver be unable to return, due to clashing commitments with his Hyundai programme in TCR.

Tarquini replaced Monteiro at the last-minute for the Chinese round in order to aid Honda’s manufacturers’ championship challenge and support Norbert Michelisz’s drivers’ title bid.

With Monteiro’s chief rival Thed Björk not scoring in Race 1, and only picking up half-points of third position in the aborted second race, the Portuguese driver is still in title contention, half a point behind Björk going to the next round at Motegi.

Though Monteiro didn’t receive medical clearance to race in China due to his injuries following a testing crash in early October, the 41-year-old is targeting to be back for Japan, but he should he not be declared fit, Honda will need to find another replacement.

“There is a clash,” Tarquini told TouringCarTimes. “I cannot be in Motegi because I’ll be at Adria, and I cannot be in Macau as I’ll be at the Dubai race. Theoretically I can be back for Qatar, but by then Tiago should be definitely be back, but I hope he can be back for Motegi.

Tarquini’s commitments are to the one-off TCR Europe event at Adria Raceway on October 29th, and at the TCR International Series season finale at Dubai on November 18th, racing Hyundai’s i30 N TCR.