Mehdi Bennani will drive a fourth Honda Civic in next year’s World Touring Car Championship.
The Moroccan driver and the Proteam squad will make the switch from the BMWs they have campaigned together for the past three seasons to join factory drivers Gabriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro and Zengo Motorsport man Norbert Michelisz in running new 2014-specification Civics.
30-year-old Bennani currently sits 12th in the 2013 standings with two rounds remaining after taking second-place finishes in Hungary, the United States and Japan.
“Throughout the current season I think I proved that I am capable of achieving excellent results and fighting for the top positions,” he said.
“I claimed three second places and four victories in the Yokohama Trophy, and I had close fights for the overall victory with the likes of Tarquini, Coronel and Huff. I am very excited now to make another step forward and being entrusted one of the most competitive cars in the field.”
Proteam boss Valmiro Presenzini added: “After ten years as a BMW customer team, we are truly excited and honoured to be welcomed in the Honda racing family. We are fully confident that Bennani will be able to deliver some impressive performance at the wheel of the new Civic.”
William De Braekeleer, Motorsport Manager at Honda Motor Europe, added: “Since Honda joined WTCC, it has always been our wish to support the championship further by allowing private teams to have access to our cars. Because of next year’s new technical regulations, the championship needed as many “2014 specs cars” as possible and it was therefore in line with our philosophy to make a fourth 2014 Civic WTCC available for a private outfit.
“Needless to say that we are particularly pleased that an agreement could be made with an experienced and successful squad like Proteam and we can’t wait to see Mehdi showing his great talents at the wheel of the new Civic.”