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– WTCR: Podium for Huff and Bennani with the Golf GTI TCR at season-opener in Marrakesh
– BTCC: First podium for Jake Hill in Brands Hatch thanks to clever choice of tyres

FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR)
Two podiums as the “new world series” gets going – strong performances by Huff and Bennani in the Golf GTI TCR

There’s no place like home: Mehdi Bennani’s home debut in the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) in Marrakesh (MA) was greeted by wild celebrations from his compatriots. The 34-year-old enjoyed a successful start to the “new world series” season at the wheel of a Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR, claiming second place in the second race and securing top finishes in the other two races. His Sébastien Loeb Racing team-mate, Robert Huff (GB), followed suit – finishing third in the first race. The only two drivers to be permanently registered to Volkswagen displayed their reliability by claiming five out of the six possible top ten finishes in three hard-fought races. Mehdi Bennani added to his podium finish in race two by finishing ninth in the first race, and then sixth in the third event. After securing third place in the first race, Rub Huff crossed the line in 13th position in race two and seventh in the final event.

Races four to six of the touring car world cup season will take place on 28th and 29th April at the Hungaroring, near Budapest (Hungary).

Rob Huff (GB), Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR #12

“We didn’t expect to be on the podium for the first race weekend. We really were on a level with the competition and we scored some valuable points. That is exactly what we need.”

Mehdi Bennani (MA), Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR #25

“An absolutely fantastic weekend! I am delighted to reach the podium in my home race. Thanks to the fantastic fans and to my team. The Golf GTI TCR ran like clockwork in all three races. There is still potential to improve for the upcoming races. But one thing is already clear: it’s going to be an exciting season.”

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British Touring Car Championship (BTCC)
Brands Hatch: First BTCC podium for Jake Hill in the Volkswagen CC

An enthralling race with a happy end for Volkswagen: Jake Hill (GB) celebrated his first podium in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) at the wheel of the Volkswagen CC sporting the colours of Team Hard. Hill had to battle hard to claim second place in race two, going some way to making amends for a disappointing performance first time out. A good dose of cunning helped him on his way. The second race on the opening weekend of the BTCC season started on a soaking wet track – but with no rain falling. Jake Hill took a gamble, chose smooth slick tyres and waited for the racing line to dry out. On the Indy version of the Brands Hatch circuit, the conditions dried out quickly, producing a real thriller between laps 22 and 27 where tyre choices played a decisive role. His team-mates Mike Bushell and Rory Butcher also made the top ten, finishing in eighth and ninth places.

However, there had been no sign of the Volkswagen CCs there in the first race – the best result was 13th place for Rory Butcher, while Jake Hill crossed the line in 25th.

Races three and four of the British Touring Car Championship season will take place at Donington Park on April 28th and 29th.

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Volkswagen Fun Cup Great Britain

Chris Webster and Stuart Hall drove to victory from pole position in the first race of the Volkswagen Fun Cup Great Britain – but it was a close-run thing. After four hours of racing in Oulton Park, the duo crossed the line first, just 1.9 tenths of a second ahead of Henry Dawes and Chris Hart. Third place went to Fabio Randaccio and Farquini Deott. At the historic circuit just to the east of Chester, in north-western England, the top seven teams were separated by just ten seconds.

Next up:

FIA World Rallycross Championship, Barcelona (E)

FIA European Rallycross Championship, Barcelona (E)

TCR Germany, Oschersleben (D)

TCR Russia, Grosny (RUS)

Volkswagen Fun Cup France, Dijon (F)

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