The Sébastien Loeb Racing renews trust in Mehdi Bennani for 2016

"A huge honour and a great responsibility"

By Franck Drui

25 November 2015 - 20:15
The Sébastien Loeb Racing renews (...)

The Sébastien Loeb Racing is about to complete its first full season in the World Touring Car Championship this weekend in Qatar. A first positive campaign since Mehdi Bennani is still racing for the title in the Yokohama Trophy – for independent drivers only – while Ma Qing Hua whose car entered by the Citroën Racing gets operational support from the Alsace-based team currently ranks fourth overall with one win.

Today the French team confirms its entry in the 2016 WTCC season. It will once again rely upon Mehdi Bennani, while one or two additional Citroën C-Elysée will take to the track and defend the colours of the Sébastien Loeb Racing.

Since it was established, the Sébastien Loeb Racing has been competing in the Porsche Carrera Cup France and the FFSA GT Championship. It also took part in Le Mans in 2014. In early 2015, the team decided to add another challenge to its programme with the World Touring Car Championship. This new international commitment will still continue in 2016 through the private entry of Citroën C-Elysée alongside the two factory cars entered by Citroën Racing themselves. Mehdi Bennani will be one of the drivers to compete for the Soultz-Sous-Forêts squad.

“We’re glad to continue to work with Mehdi and the Citroën C-Elysée in WTCC. It’s a satisfaction on two counts” says Dominique Heintz, team’s co-founder member together with Sébastien Loeb. “First of all this experience in WTCC has been interesting and motivating. This international programme forces us to move forward and improve, always having to do better amongst tough competition. Additionally, we’ve established an excellent working relationship with Mehdi. We’ve made progress together on a regular basis, to finally deliver great performances towards the end of the season, at the top of the leaderboard. We’ve laid foundations that are strong and that we’ll be able to rely on in 2016 for an even better season. With the C-Elysée we’ll still be benefiting from a very competitive car.”

Having been racing in the WTCC since 2009, while becoming one of the experts of this competition, Mehdi Bennani was only discovering the Citroën C-Elysée this year. After a necessary period of time getting his bearings, the Moroccan driver then completed a full season, with four Top 5 overall and six wins in the independent drivers’ championship. Results which actually mean that he will now be racing for the title in the Yokohama Trophy, this weekend, for the final round of the season in Qatar. Bennani will embark on this adventure again next year, alongside the Sébastien Loeb Racing.

“Knowing that I will continue to race for the Sébastien Loeb Racing next season, just before the final round starts, is excellent news. It shows that I fully trust the team” Bennani confides. “It’s a very professional squad, guided by their desire and search for performance. To be part of this process, while keeping in mind that we’re racing for Sébastien Loeb who is a nine-time-world-champion model, is absolutely unique. I want to thank all the people who have allowed me to reach this level I’m at today. To be supported in such a way by the Moroccan people and His Majesty King Mohammed VI, is both a huge honour and a great responsibility. I was the first driver from an Arab country to ever compete in WTCC. I hope to be the first one to clinch a world title in the discipline. Anyways, that’s the goal we’re working towards.”

The Sébastien Loeb Racing wishes to enter several Citroën C-Elysée cars in the 2016 World Touring Car Championship. Following on Mehdi Bennani’s confirmation, further announcements will be made in the upcoming weeks.



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