The Moroccan driver Mehdi Bennani “has lived a dream ever since he crossed the line in Shanghai, Race 2, to take his first win in the World Touring Car Championship,” Touring Car Times reported.
In an interview given to TouringCarTimes, Bennani said, following this historical win, the following:
“They all say the first win is the most difficult, now I am looking forward to my future with different eyes.
“The next step now is to be closer to the top drivers in this series and also to explore my opportunities as I am the first Arabic, African and Moroccan driver to win in the WTCC.
“We try to fight for the top positions all the time but we also are a small team and we fight against the big works teams such as Citroën, Honda and Lada as well. We need to be realistic and realize that we cannot fight consistently for the top.
“On the other hand, we have also shown that we are capable of winning in Shanghai. We hope we will be able to be competitive in Suzuka. I am still feeling very good after my first win, and also Honda’s first win this year, but in Japan I will drive at my 100% as usual. We will see where that leads us, hopefully in a good position to fight. I also trust the team to work at its best and give me the best possible car as usual, so we will see what happens.
“It has changed a lot in my personal life as well. I became a driver thanks to the King of Morocco, who decorated me at the end of last year. I surely made history, and I am sure my grandchildren will be told about how their grandfather was the first Moroccan to win in the World Touring Car Championship.
“Everyone in Morocco was very happy and until I took my flight to come to Japan my schedule was completely full, everybody wanted to celebrate me, and this of course was very nice. I made my country and my family very proud and it makes me feel very happy.
“Having said that, I look at it more from a professional point of view and I realize this is a good opportunity to step up in my career.”
P.S: The interview was conducted by Touring Car Times.