Mehdi Bennani

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Mehdi Bennani
Mehdi Bennani 2009 WTCC Marrakech.jpg
Nationality  Moroccan
Born (1983-08-25) August 25, 1983 (age 30)
Fes (Morocco)
2014 World Touring Car Championship
Debut season 2009
Current team Proteam Racing
Car no. 25
Former teams Wiechers-Sport
Exagon Engineering
Starts 106
Wins 0
Poles 0
Fastest laps 1
Best finish 10th in 2012
Previous series
2009
2007
2007
20052006
2004
Formula Le Mans
Euroseries 3000
Italian Formula 3000
Formula Renault 3.5 Series
Formula BMW Asia

Mehdi Bennani (born 25 August 1983 in Fes) is a Moroccan racing driver who currently competes in the World Touring Car Championship with Proteam Racing.

Racing career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Like most racing drivers, Bennani started out in karting, winning his national championship in 2001. He finished as runner-up in the European Karting Championship in the 100 ICA class. He also won the Moroccan Fiat Palio Trophy in 2001. He moved into single-seaters and was runner-up in Formula BMW Asia in 2004. He moved to the Formula Renault 3.5 Series in 2005 with the Avalon Formula team, racing against the likes of Robert Kubica and Will Power. He also competed for EuroInternational in 2006, but failed to score a point in his time in the series. He competed in Euroseries 3000 in 2007 and scored a best result of fourth. In 2008 he competed in the Pau Historical Grand Prix, where he finished second.[1]

World Touring Car Championship[edit]

Exagon Engineering (2009)[edit]

In May 2009 Bennani competed in his home round of the World Touring Car Championship, the Race of Morocco at the Marrakech Street Circuit in a SEAT León 2.0 TFSI prepared by Exagon Engineering.[2] He was backed by OMNT, Morocco's Tourism Office.[3] He became the first North African to race in the WTCC, on the series' first visit to the African continent. He qualified in 14th place for the first race, and finished in 9th place, winner of the Independents category. He finished ninth in the second race, and impressed throughout the weekend with the way he was able to keep up with WTCC regulars. He competed at four further race weekends for Exagon. At the Race of Portugal he collided with the stranded car of Alain Menu on the narrow street circuit, he was later disqualified from the final classification.

Wiechers-Sport (2010)[edit]

In 2010 Bennani drove a BMW 320si for the Wiechers-Sport team.[4] The season yielded just three points and 20th place in the drivers standings.

Proteam Racing (2011–)[edit]

Bennani moved to Proteam Racing for 2011 to drive one of their new BMW 320 TCs.[5] His best result of the season was a 6th place in the final race at Macau.

Bennani stayed on at Proteam for 2012.[6] He was joined at the team by Isaac Tutumlu until he left after the Race of Slovakia, reducing the team to one car for Bennani.[7] He took a career best fourth place finish in race one at the Race of Hungary. He bettered this with his maiden podium finish in race two having finished in third place.[8] A collision with Stefano D'Aste at the Race of Portugal earned him a suspended grid penalty. He started second for race two of the Race of the United States and inherited the lead from D'Aste half way around the first lap when D'Aste spun off. He held the lead until lap four when he spun off and damaged his car, forcing him to retire and the lead passed to Franz Engstler. Race one of the Race of Japan saw Aleksei Dudukalo collide with Bennani who then returned to the pits for repairs. The second race was better and Bennani held off the Chevrolet trio for much of the race before passing him in the lap two laps. He was caught up in a first corner crash in race one of the Race of Macau in which a number of cars piled into the Lisboa corner on the first lap and blocked the track. Bennani's car was stuck across the track and was lifted out of the way before the race resumed. He finished the season tenth in the drivers' championship tied on points with Alex MacDowall but ranked ahead due to his podium in Hungary.

Bennani stayed with Proteam for the 2013 season, driving their BMW 320 TC for the third consecutive year.[9]

Racing record[edit]

Complete Formula Renault 3.5 Series results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 DC Points
2005 Avelon Formula ZOL
1
ZOL
2
MON
1

Ret
VAL
1

Ret
VAL
2

18
LMS
1

21
LMS
2

18
BIL
1

DNQ
BIL
2

Ret
OSC
1

13
OSC
2

16
DON
1

18
DON
2

17
EST
1

23
EST
2

21
MNZ
1

19†
MNZ
2

21
33rd 0
2006 Eurointernational ZOL
1
ZOL
2
MON
1

DNQ
IST
1
IST
2
MIS
1
MIS
2
SPA
1
SPA
2
NÜR
1
NÜR
2
DON
1
DON
2
LMS
1

Ret
LMS
2

19
CAT
1
CAT
2
43rd 0

Complete World Touring Car Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 DC Points
2009 Exagon Engineering SEAT León TFSI BRA
1
BRA
2
MEX
1
MEX
2
MAR
1

9
MAR
2

9
FRA
1

18
FRA
2

Ret
ESP
1

14
ESP
2

23
CZE
1
CZE
2
POR
1

DSQ
POR
2

Ret
GBR
1
GBR
2
GER
1
GER
2
ITA
1

13
ITA
2

Ret
JPN
1
JPN
2
MAC
1
MAC
2
NC 0
2010 Wiechers-Sport BMW 320si BRA
1

18
BRA
2

12
MAR
1

15
MAR
2

9
ITA
1

14
ITA
2

17
BEL
1

14
BEL
2

19
POR
1

Ret
POR
2

12
GBR
1

19
GBR
2

Ret
CZE
1

14
CZE
2

16
GER
1

14
GER
2

Ret
ESP
1

Ret
ESP
2

16
JPN
1

16
JPN
2

19
MAC
1

10
MAC
2

12
20th 3
2011 Proteam Racing BMW 320 TC BRA
1

10
BRA
2

Ret
BEL
1

Ret
BEL
2

11
ITA
1

11
ITA
2

20
HUN
1

14
HUN
2

14
CZE
1

11
CZE
2

10
POR
1

16
POR
2

18
GBR
1

14
GBR
2

9
GER
1

11
GER
2

Ret
ESP
1

Ret
ESP
2

12
JPN
1

8
JPN
2

18
CHN
1

7
CHN
2

11
MAC
1

9
MAC
2

6
16th 24
2012 Proteam Racing BMW 320 TC ITA
1

Ret
ITA
2

14
ESP
1

14
ESP
2

10
MAR
1

Ret
MAR
2

12
SVK
1

11
SVK
2

7
HUN
1

4
HUN
2

3
AUT
1

17
AUT
2

6
POR
1

Ret
POR
2

Ret
BRA
1

13
BRA
2

8
USA
1

11
USA
2

Ret
JPN
1

21
JPN
2

7
CHN
1

8
CHN
2

5
MAC
1

Ret
MAC
2

Ret
10th 68
2013 Proteam Racing BMW 320 TC ITA
1

17
ITA
2

19
MAR
1

18
MAR
2

11
SVK
1

10
SVK
2

9
HUN
1

5
HUN
2

2
AUT
1

4
AUT
2

16
RUS
1

11
RUS
2

16
POR
1

Ret
POR
2

10
ARG
1

20
ARG
2

21†
USA
1

18
USA
2

2
JPN
1

11
JPN
2

2
CHN
1

16
CHN
2

14
MAC
1

12
MAC
2

Ret
12th 80
2014 Proteam Racing Honda Civic WTCC MAR
1

7
MAR
2

DSQ
FRA
1

FRA
2

HUN
1

HUN
2

SVK
1

SVK
2

AUT
1

AUT
2

RUS
1

RUS
2

BEL
1

BEL
2

ARG
1

ARG
2

USA
1

USA
2

CHN
1

CHN
2

JPN
1

JPN
2

MAC
1

MAC
2

11th* 6

* Season in progress.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.fiawtcc.com/Drivers_Details.asp?idDriver=38
  2. ^ Meissner, Johan. "Mehdi Bennani joins Exagon at Marrakech". TouringCarTimes. Retrieved 5 August 2012. 
  3. ^ http://www.fiawtcc.com/Read_News.asp?idNews=73
  4. ^ Auger, Matt. "Bennani Joins Weichers-Sport". The Checkered Flag. Retrieved 5 August 2012. 
  5. ^ Casillo, Pietro. "Mehdi Bennani joins Proteam Motorsport". TouringCarTimes. Retrieved 5 August 2012. 
  6. ^ Courtoisier, Arnaud. "Mehdi Bennani to stay with Proteam". Nextgen-Auto. Retrieved 5 August 2012. 
  7. ^ Hudson, Neil. "Isaac Tutumlu leaves Proteam Racing". TouringCarTimes. Retrieved 5 August 2012. 
  8. ^ Allen, Peter. "Local Hero Michelisz Thrills Hungarian Crowd With Race 2 Victory". The Checkered Flag. Retrieved 5 August 2012. 
  9. ^ "PROTEAM AND BENNANI TOGETHER AGAIN". World Touring Car Championship (Kigema Sport Organisation). 17 January 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2013.