Honda Racing Team JAS has announced that WTCC Trophy frontrunner Esteban Guerrieri will deputise for Tiago Monteiro at this weekend’s Race of Japan at Twin Ring Motegi.
The Argentine, who has won two races this year with the privateer Campos Racing squad, will drive alongside Honda’s regular factor drivers Norbert Michelisz and Ryo Michigami.
“I was sorry to hear that Tiago would not be able to race this weekend, but I’m extremely excited to have been given the opportunity to join Honda for Motegi and to drive a factory car in the WTCC,” said Guerrieri.
“I’d also like to thank Campos Racing for their positivity throughout this process and to everybody who has helped in making my move to Honda possible. Motegi is a new circuit for me and I’ve never even driven the Civic WTCC, so I’m aware that there’s a lot to learn, but I’m confident that I can do a strong job of helping Honda in the Manufacturers’ Championship and supporting Norbi’s Drivers’ title ambitions.”
Guerrieri has been drafted in at the eleventh hour after Monteiro was again ruled out of action following a testing crash in Spain in early September.
The Portuguese driver, who was leading the Drivers’ Championship standings at the time, was forced to miss the Race of China round two weeks ago where his seat was taken by former teammate Gabriele Tarquini.
With Tarquini unavailable due to clashing commitments in the TCR series, Guerrieri was loaned to Honda by Campos Racing to aid its fight for the Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ Championship titles.
This move could come at the expense of Guerrieri’s own ambitions to win the WTCC Trophy title for non-manufacturer entries. Following his win in the Opening Race at China and retirements for all three of the independents’ leading Citroëns, Guerrieri moved to within seven points of current leader Tom Chilton.
Campos Racing will shortly announce the identity of the driver who will substitute for Guerrieri.
Image via FIA WTCC Media
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