Formula Renault 2.0 NEC

NEC Champion Michael Benyahia: “I think this season has made me a better driver”

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Credit: Gregory Eyckmans

Moroccan racer Michael Benyahia clinched the 2017 Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup title at the Hockenheimring last Saturday, despite being forced to settle for two ninth place finishes.

The R-ace GP driver sat in second place in the standings heading into the final double-header of the season, and then outscored his main rivals for the title, including team-mate Gilles Magnus, who lost the title thanks to a drive-through penalty in race one that left him at the rear of the field.

Benyahia and Magnus battled right to the chequered flag in race two, with the Moroccan holding off the Belgian, and had the two switched position, it would have seen the title switch hands as well.

But Benyahia held on, and despite not taking a single victory all season long and only finishing on the podium on four occasions, his consistency paid off as he denied Magnus the title by just two points, with Bartlomiej Mirecki a further ten points back in third.

“I don’t think it’s really hit me yet, but it feels great so far,” said Benyahia. “By far this was the hardest race with Gilles [Magnus] always behind me.

“The whole race was about keeping track of Gilles and Bartek, because if he had gone a little bit too far that would have been a problem for us. I’ve learnt a lot this season, like how to play a championship, I think this season has made me a better driver and I’ve just really enjoyed it.”

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