A NASCAR driver has been fined $10,000 (£6,100) and ordered to attend sensitivity training after he used an anti-gay slur on another driver’s Instagram photo.

Nelson Piquet Jr was on Tuesday handed the fine. He posted the remark on Instagram on 25 September in a post which has now been deleted.

Senior vice president of racing operations Steve O’Donnell said: “Nelson Piquet Jr. recently communicated an offensive and derogatory term that cannot be tolerated in our sport,”

He went on to say that NASCAR’s code of conduct lays out guidelines “regarding the use of disparaging terms. We expect our entire industry to abide by this Code.”

Piquet reportedly wrote a three-letter slur on an Instagram photo of fellow driver Parker Klingerman. He took to Twitter to defend his actions, saying it was meant as a joke between friends.

The Brazillian driver later apologised, however, releasing a statement saying: “I sincerely apologise to everyone for my poor choice of words last week. I did not mean to hurt or offend anyone.

“This has been a cultural learning experience that will make me a more sensitive person moving forward.”

Piquet’s team Turner Scott Motorsports also said it had addressed the issue with Piquet.

“TSM expects those associated with the team to uphold professional standards that we can all be proud of,” TSM said in a statement. “Nelson has assured the team that he has learned his lesson and he knows what it means to represent TSM.”

Other NASCAR drivers have been handed fines for similar instances in the past year.