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Mehdi Bennani ‘happy and confident’ after securing Monza pole

Mehdi Bennani was in positive spirits after claiming pole position for the opening TCR Europe race at Monza, with the Comtoyou Racing driver narrowly edging out the Honda of Dan Lloyd.

Bennani took just his second-ever pole position in touring car racing, following on from pole in the 2016 WTCC event in Qatar, in his third event in the TCR Europe series.

The Moroccan has been fast all weekend thus far, topping a wet first practice session on Friday before going second in the drier second practice session later in the day.

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Bennani carried that pace into qualifying to take pole, and a further ten points towards his championship campaign in the process, lifting him to 28 points from series leader Lloyd.

“Just as I said after FP1 and FP 2 yesterday, it was only practice and we know that practice doesn’t always mean that’s how things will end in qualifying,” said Bennani.

“Now I’m really happy because the team did a fantastic job and the Audi looks to be a great car here in Monza.

“I really felt confident in Q1 because we managed to do a proper time; I didn’t have any slipstream and we know that helps a lot here.

“I was trying to find something to have like a small slipstream, but I didn’t want to take any risks and maybe lose a proper lap.

“I’m really quite happy looking forward, because qualifying is qualifying and races are another story.”

Race one is scheduled to get underway at 17:15 CEST (16:15 BST).

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