Stories of the first WTCR year: Bennani bounces back
Mehdi Bennani was one of 15 drivers to win in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO during the inaugural season.
However, a heavy crash at WTCR Race of Portugal in late June, following a high-speed collision with team-mate Rob Huff, left him struggling for form and questioning his desire to continue competing at the wheel of his Sébastien Loeb Racing Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR, particularly following a tough return to action in Slovakia.
But he hit back in style in China, starting off with a podium in Ningbo and a first triumph in Wuhan after a thrilling final-lap dice with Aurélien Comte. Click here to watch the dramatic action.
“It was a nice victory because so much has happened since my crash at Vila Real,” said the 35-year-old from Morocco. “This win is dedicated to the King of Morocco, who has done so much to make me a professional driver. I knew [Comte] was much lighter, by something like 60kg. He closed too much in the final three laps, but when he overtook me I knew it would be nearly impossible for him to stop the car at the hairpin on that line. I’m very happy, I missed the taste of victory.”
Thed Björk won twice at WTCR Race of China-Ningbo with Yvan Muller completing a dominant weekend for the YMR squad. Jean-Karl Vernay and Gordon Shedden joined Bennani as winners in Wuhan.