The first World Touring Car event to be held in Morocco has received a boost with the announcement that Mehdi Bennani has been signed compete in his local event.

Bennani will drive an privateer SEAT Leon prepared by Exagon Engineering around the streets of Marrakech, which will welcome the WTCC paddock in May as the first African event to be included on the calendar.

Bennani is no stranger to world-class events having made sporadic appearances in the World Series by Renault between 2005 and 2006, the Formula 3000 Euroseries and the 24-Hour Series with BMW.

The Belgian-based Exagon team, meanwhile, will be making their return to the championship having steered Pierre-Yves Corthals to Independent Trophy victories over the past two seasons. However, they are currently not planning to compete full-time in 2009.

Bennani will get his first taste of WTCC machinery during a test at Magny-Cours next month.