After more than 12 months out of action, WTCR Honda driver Tiago Monteiro will return to racing at the upcoming Japanese round of the WTCR. Monteiro, formally of Jordan and Midland/Spyker Formula One fame in the mid 2000's, has been out of racing action for several months following a high speed accident in Spain when testing for the works Honda WTCC squad back in September 2017. At the time Monteiro found himself very much in prime position to take his first World Touring Car Championship title, however the accident would side line the popular Portuguese driver for the remainder of the season, with doubts beginning to raise as to the viability of a return to any level of racing competition - only increasing following several failed attempts to get back behind the wheel in the months following his sizeable shunt. The crash itself occurred during testing at the Spanish Grand Prix venue in Barcelona, initially knocking the driver unconscious before complications with blood clots affected the then 41-year-old's vertebra, eyes and nerves.. preventing a return to competitive action and fight for the WTCC title for the remainder of the year, and the start of his new WTCR adventure with the Boutsen Ginion Honda squad. However, nearly 15 months on from his crash, Monteiro has confirmed the Suzuka round of the WTCR later this month will mark his return to racing action, forming part of the comeback process before returning to touring car racing full time in 2019: “I cannot even begin to tell you how good it feels to be back,” Monteiro said. “There were times when the situation looked pretty bleak, but I never lost hope that this day would come and that has kept me determined to push harder than ever to get back to where I want to be. “Coming to race weekends all year and watching other people do what I should be doing has been tearing me up inside, so I think Suzuka is going to be quite emotional. The fact that I’ll be returning at Honda’s home circuit – the same place I made my first WTCC start with them in 2012 – is also very special and a great way to repay the faith and support they’ve shown me throughout my recovery period. Monteiro will return for just Suzuka, with doctors advising the driver not to risk himself during the season ending Macau round as he continues his rehabilitation ahead of a full scale return next year. “I’m not setting any targets; I just want to have fun, get comfortable and play myself in at my own pace before I come back full-time in 2019, and that – along with the advice of the doctors – is why I won’t do Macau. I am so grateful to the professionals that have helped me in my recovery, my family, friends and supporters; you’ve all been amazing throughout this tough time.” It is expected that the Portuguese will return in place of stand in driver Ma Qing Hua, himself replacing main season stand in Benjamin Lessennes. For more motorsport news, head over to the Motorsport Sub Forum here at RaceDepartment and join the conversation today! Like what you see here at RaceDepartment? Don't forget to like, subscribe and follow us on social media! Instagram Twitter Facebook Youtube Twitch Happy to see Monteiro back on the comeback trail? Do you think he can pick up where he left off? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!