Rickard Rydell has been forced to withdraw from the second round of the World Touring Car Championship in Morocco after falling ill prior to the event.

The Swede, who made his return to WTCC competition driving the NIKA Honda Civic in Argentina, contracted a virus ahead of the Marrakech round and is yet to regain fitness.

"I am tremendously disappointed to be forced out of this weekend's races in Marrakech. I've had a persisting fever for the last few days, but it was always manageable and I firmly intended to drive in Morocco. Unfortunately things took a turn for the worse today and the fever increased. It's very frustrating, but driving the car in this condition would have been highly dangerous and simply isn't an option.

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"I would like to thank the team for their support in all of this - they've really been fantastic. Now, I will liaise with my doctors in order to recover as quickly as possible, and I already look forward to getting back in the car again in Budapest in two weeks' time."

The late withdrawal means NIKA Racing hasn't sourced a replacement and is forced to withdraw from the event.