At the end of the distinguished participation of the Moroccan champion and racing driver Michaël Benyahia in the “FIA MOTORSPORT GAMES” event in France, the equivalent of the Olympic Games for motorcycling, the Moroccan Sport Journalists received it , offering him the opportunity to share his successes, the evolution of his career and his projects future.
The young Moroccan, 22, was crowned Formula Renault 2.0 car racing champion at the wheel of a McLaren GT3 720S wearing the colors of the Kingdom.
Michaël Benyahia made his single-seater debut in the French Formula 4 Championship in 2015 and finished his very first season in 10th position. The year 2016 was a remarkable season for Benyahia as he claimed a victory and stood on the podium six times, ending the season in third place with a score of 218 points.
At the microphone of MoroccoLatestNews EN, Michaël Benyahia brings us closer to his life and the problems he encounters as a pilot representing Morocco, a representation of which he is proud.
How is the life of a racing driver?
I started karting at the age of 4 and progressed to racing circuits. Then I moved on to racing cars like Formula 4, Formula 3 and then I became a reserve in Formula E. Being a racing driver means a lot of travelling, a lot of flights and hotel stays. It’s about 100 flights a year, especially before the covid-19 crisis.
We spend all our time travelling, training, sometimes it’s hard, some people think it’s crazy, because you always end up in a new country but it’s like an adventure. It’s cool of being a racing driver.
What are your projects ? What do you aspire to?
I aspire to become a full-time professional, like in Formula E, and maybe Formula 1. At the moment, I’m part of the Mclaren GT3 team as a development driver and it’s going pretty well, but I hope to go further in my career.
Your father mentioned the problems you are having with the Federation to represent Morocco, what impact does this have on your career?
The issues I’m facing right now are simply the lack of funding and support to help me move into other categories. Honestly I have a bunch of other drivers that I grew up with and raced quite a bit with them who are currently racing in Formula 1 or Formula E and I’m not there with them but it’s like that right now, I’m honestly disappointed, I should have been by their side.
In this respect, the young driver’s father, Karim Benyahia, spoke of his son’s different careers and the testimonies attesting to Michaël’s remarkable talent. However, Benyahia senior told MoroccoLatestNews EN that the Royal Moroccan Federation of Motor Sports (FRMSA) unfortunately refused to finance or support Michaël.
” When they spoke to me, they told me that my son should only go and represent the United States, the country where he was born, rather than Morocco. I never heard that! Of course I refused. I am Moroccan and my nationality will not be taken away from me nor my son’s pride in belonging to Morocco“, he laments, saying he is ready to do everything to contribute to the success of Michaël “who at least needs recognition for this representation”.