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Bennani: Loeb brings power to the WTCC

Bennani: Loeb brings power to the WTCC

17/03/2017 12:00

FIA World Touring Car Championship race winner and team owner Sébastien Loeb is making a big difference to Mehdi Bennani’s efforts to challenge for world title glory in 2017.

Bennani has raced for the team co-owned by the nine-time World Rally champion since 2015, claiming two outright wins and the WTCC Trophy crown last season.

Loeb was present during WTCC testing at Monza on Tuesday and Bennani said he gained plenty from his visit.

“He always gives advice, he’s always coaching the people around, the team, the drivers,” said Bennani. “It’s very strong to have the power of Sébastien Loeb with us. He’s the reference so it’s nice to have him on our side.”

Bennani set some impressive lap times during Monza testing but admitted to pushing too far on Wednesday morning.

“We were trying a lot things and a lot of new things on the car,” explained. “You always try to be on the limit and sometimes over the limit to know where the limit is. At Monza we touched a little bit the gravel at Lesmo 1 and my car was in the gravel.”

The 2017 World Touring Car Championship season opens with Bennani’s home event, FIA WTCC AFRIQUIA Race of Morocco in Marrakech from 7-9 April.

Thed Björk says having two title-chasing drivers in the same team can only make him stronger as he bids to become the first Swede to win the FIA World Touring Car Championship.

Norbert Michelisz has promised an “action-packed” second half to the 2017 FIA World Touring Car Championship season after he fought back into title contention with victory in the Main Race at FIA WTCC Race of Portugal on Sunday.

Zengő Motorsport’s Dániel Nagy returned to the scene of his FIA World Touring Car Championship debut 12 months ago when the WTCC visited Vila Real last weekend.

Néstor Girolami wants his frustrating run in the FIA World Touring Car Championship to end – starting with his home race in Argentina next month.

Rob Huff underlined his reputation as a street racer supreme with a charging display at WTCC Race of Portugal on Sunday.

Kevin Gleason’s RC Motorsport mechanics defied the odds to enable the American to bag a WTCC Trophy points finish in the second of two races in Vila Real last weekend.