He became the first Moroccan driver to win a world championship race organized by the FIA, after his victory in Shanghai, WTCC.
Like most racing drivers, Bennani started out in karting, winning his national championship in 2001. He finished as runner-up in the European Karting Championship in the 100 ICA class. He also won the Moroccan Fiat Palio Trophy in 2001. He moved into single-seaters and was runner-up in Formula BMW Asia in 2004. He moved to the Formula Renault 3.5 Series in 2005 with the Avalon Formula team, racing against the likes of Robert Kubica and Will Power. He also competed for EuroInternational in 2006, but failed to score a point in his time in the series. He competed in Euroseries 3000 in 2007, finished 14th at the final standings and scored a best result of fourth. In 2008 he competed in the Pau Historical Grand Prix, where he finished second.
In May 2009 Bennani competed in his home round of the World Touring Car Championship, the Race of Morocco at the Marrakech Street Circuit in a SEAT León 2.0 TFSI prepared by Exagon Engineering. He was backed by OMNT, Morocco's Tourism Office. He became the first North African to race in the WTCC, on the series' first visit to the African continent. He qualified in 14th place for the first race, and finished in 9th place, winner of the Independents category. He finished ninth in the second race, and impressed throughout the weekend with the way he was able to keep up with WTCC regulars. He competed at four further race weekends for Exagon. At the Race of Portugal he collided with the stranded car of Alain Menu on the narrow street circuit, he was later disqualified from the final classification.
In 2010 Bennani drove a BMW 320si for the Wiechers-Sport team. The season yielded just three points and 20th place in the drivers standings.
Bennani moved to Proteam Racing for 2011 to drive one of their new BMW 320 TCs. His best result of the season was a 6th place in the final race at Macau.
Bennani stayed on at Proteam for 2012. He was joined at the team by Isaac Tutumlu until he left after the Race of Slovakia, reducing the team to one car for Bennani. He took a career best fourth-place finish in race one at the Race of Hungary. He bettered this with his maiden podium finish in race two, having finished in third place. A collision with Stefano D'Aste at the Race of Portugal earned him a suspended grid penalty. He started second for race two of the Race of the United States and inherited the lead from D'Aste halfway around the first lap when D'Aste spun off. He held the lead until lap four when he spun off and damaged his car, forcing him to retire and the lead passed to Franz Engstler. Race one of the Race of Japan saw Aleksei Dudukalo collide with Bennani who then returned to the pits for repairs. The second race was better and Bennani held off the Chevrolet trio for much of the race before passing him in the lap two laps. He was caught up in a first corner crash in race one of the Race of Macau in which a number of cars piled into the Lisboa corner on the first lap and blocked the track. Bennani's car was stuck across the track and was lifted out of the way before the race resumed. He finished the season tenth in the drivers' championship tied on points with Alex MacDowall but ranked ahead due to his podium in Hungary.
Bennani stayed with Proteam for the 2013 season, driving their BMW 320 TC for the third consecutive year., Mehdi finished 12th, 4th independent and the 2nd BMW in the championship with three podiums (2nd Suzuka, Sonoma and Hungaroring). After a difficult season with bad mechanical luck and an unresponsive car, Mehdi eschewed the BMW for a Honda civic.
In 2014 Bennani scored his first WTCC win at the championship's Shanghai round. Bennani went on to finish the season in 11th place.
For 2015, Bennani signed with Sébastien Loeb Racing, switching to a 2014-spec Citroën C-Elysée WTCC using a 2014 car for his first season with the team. The Moroccan driver started the year 2015 well in termas rio, qualified in P12 when he was able to shot the P4 before a mistake who took him out of the track, losting time and finally losting the top lap was started by him. Despite this, in the races, the Moroccan was P6 fighting with British world champion Rob Huff, but had a drive throughout for musclate touch with the British. In race 2 the Moroccan was too fast, fighting with the experimented world champion 2009 gabriele tarquini and was making pressure to the ex formula one driver for P3, in other way medhi was resisting to yvan muller who unfortunately hit him and that was finally as losing a big advantage but bennani return in the track P7, overtook norbert michelicz and gain an other position with the drive throughout imposed to the French driver for finishing in P5 and first independent of a race leaded by the local driver josé maria lopez.
the next round was too good, and more because the driver was in home at marrakech. The WTCC race of Morocco started with some good places in test and both free practices for the Moroccan with an excellent rhythm, before the qualifying everything was good and just enough for making the Moroccan doing the first row with a P2 in the super pole with a gap 0.255s from poleman josé maria lopez. In the race one, bennani did pass the first turn in P4 fighting with his team boss Sebastian Loeb for the 3rd place with a musclate battle and passes, the Moroccan finished finally 4th and won the independent category, with a race 2 more complicate but with a good rhythm, starting 9th, he return 6th and was fighting with hugo valente. finally the Moroccan and the French had both penalty for too much aggressive fight, finishing 12th.
the Hungarian race week in hungaroring was most complicated, and the Moroccan return with no points. for the first WTCC EVENTS in nurburgring, bennani took good points in both races with a P6 and P7, and second place and win in yokohama trophy when the Moroccan reduce the gap with his rival for the title norbert michelicz for 3 points.
the Russian WTCC event was complicate with race incident in both races, in Slovakia the Moroccan had complicate week but back to home with 6 points with a 7th position in race 2 and second position in yokohama trophy. for both French and Portuguese events, Moroccan took little points in the general standing but in yokohama trophy finished 3rd race 1 in French and in race 2 was back from last to 9th and 5th independent, for Portugal both races 2nd and 3rd yokohama.
the asiatics WTCC events was the good declic for Bennani, in Japan, he went for the second time in Q3 signing 4th time in qualifying. the races both was a bit complicated in peloton fight but did 7th general and 2nd independent for race 1, and, 10th and 5th independent race 2.
for Shanghai race when the year before he became the first Moroccan driver to win a race in WTCC championship, the Moroccan went for a fantastic week end when he made wins of both races and good points in the general standing with 5th race 1 and 7th race 2.
the race in Thailand was too in a successful way with 5th in qualifying for another Q3 really proximate of official Citroen cars by thousand tenths, the Moroccan took 4th and 7th of both races and an independent win in race 1, second race 2. before the final race in QATAR the fight for the title is really intense, in qualifying Bennani did an impressive prestation with another first row, 2nd time by three tenths gap with pechito who had a lot of difficulties to bit Moroccan driver lap time, in the race one Bennani took his first podium of the season and with Citroen car with a 2nd place and a good 5th place in race 2 going depsit to losting his independent title only for 4 points.
for the season 2015 the Moroccan driver show for his first year in Citroen and with the Sebastian Loeb team, was able to do four Q3, three consecutives, two second rows just behind the world champion of the year and was the most regular driver in first parts of the season. more important he finished vice-champion in yokohama independent trophy and 8th in general standings, his best WTCC career result in the standing
For 2016, Bennani will have two teammates, tom Chilton and Gregoire Demoustier. the Moroccan driver started the season in France with an impressive second place in general in opening race and an 8th position in main race. For the Slovakian ring, the Moroccan had another chance to be in the podium with an other second place in the opening race after starting in pole position and a good 6th place in race 2, after both events mehdi took four consecutive wins in wtcc independent trophy leading the standing front of his teammate. the race in hungaroring will be a fantastic turnent when bennani won the race 1 in rain conditions and took his second career victory and a victory in WTCC trophy, race 2 the Moroccan finished 8th and 3rd WTCC trophy.
in home at marrakech GP the Moroccan will had complicate qualifying, with a 14th position but in races both return 8th and 9th with a main race in rain conditions when bennani won the WTCC trophy and finished the race week at home in 5th position and general standing, he was second before this race week but that still a good place for an independent racer, and after a decision from fia, the honda's cars was disqualified and he return with 5th and 6th places points in general.
in nurburgring race he finished 5th general and second independent in both races, Russian GP was hard for sebastian loeb racing handicapped by the 80 kg weight with only 9th and 10th positions in the general standing but manage two podiums in wtcc trophy, best driver results for the team in that weekend. the Portugal race had been successful with a 4th place and 3rd independent in opening race and 8th position general and first independent in the main race. argentinian race was mitiged but 8th opening race and 7th main race after both 3rd position in wtcc trophy. in twin motegi ring, the Moroccan took an impressive 3rd place in the qualifying but was too disappointed to be relegued by one second gap to pechito. the Moroccan forget the qualifying and concentrate in race for a 4th place in race 2 when race 1 was animed for him with a drive through after a contact. shanghai race the Moroccan driver did a 4th place in qualifying and in opening race finished 11th, in race 2 he's in the podium, 3rd and in same time is crowned wtcc trophy champion.
for the final race in the championship in Qatar the Moroccan start with no pressure after obtained the title, full focus in the general standing when the Moroccan fight for the 3th position, he took his first pole position career in qualifying showing a fantastic lap time in Q3, the Moroccan show in race a good rhythm but in opening race had an other drive through but in the main race, he conserve the lead from thed bjork pressure to finish the race line in P1 for his 3rd career victory and a fantastic finish in 5th in general standing.
the Moroccan signed another year with sebastian loeb racing team for the season 2017 who was really satisfied by his 2016 prestation and 2015. but the progression between both seasons and the tom chilton fight in 2016 show how the Moroccan is a top driver in WTCC area with an impressive regularity in both seasons. but for the season 2016 the driver was the most regular driver in the grid, really more than all factory drivers. and the boss, sebastian loeb noticed this all positive words in a fantastic interview to touring car magazine.
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)
† Driver did not finish the race, but was classified as he completed over 90% of the race distance. * Season still in progress.