MISSISSAUGA, ON- Just one week after the first race weekend of the 2017 season, the Nissan Micra Cup drivers were back on the track this weekend at the Circuit Mont-Tremblant for the Spring Classic. The second race weekend of the season marked popular actor and comedian Michel Barrette’s debut as a Nissan Micra Cup driver, and featured two action-packed races. The first race was won by Olivier Bedard on Saturday and the second race was won by Xavier Coupal on Sunday.
After a productive day of practice sessions on Friday, the Nissan Micra Cup drivers kicked off the first day of racing on Saturday with the traditional qualifying sessions, under an overcast but dry sky. Winner of the first two races of the season, Jean-Michel Isabelle earned himself the pole position ahead of 2016 champion Xavier Coupal and 2015 champion Olivier Bedard. Valerie Limoges, the only female driver competing this season, made her mark and claimed fourth fastest time ahead of Kevin King, Stefan Gauthier, top senior class driver Metod Topolnik, Australian Keishi Ayukai, Nicolas Touchette and British driver Jake Exton. Vincent Doyle was the fastest rookie, followed by Nicolas Barrette.
In the afternoon, 22 drivers got behind the wheel of their practically stock Nissan Micras, in front of numerous fans lining the track, and competed in the first race of the weekend. A duel between Jean-Michel Isabelle and Xavier Coupal caused a minor incident at the front of the pack, allowing Valerie Limoges to take the lead halfway through the race. As soon as the race restarted, Olivier Bedard surprised his fellow drivers and claimed his first victory of the season.
Kevin King and Valerie Limoges completed the podium, ahead of Keishi Ayukai, who performed extremely well for his first time competing at the Circuit Mont-Tremblant, and Normand Boyer, winner of the senior class for the third consecutive time. For the rookies, Vincent Doyle earned his first victory ahead of Nicolas Barrette and Austin Riley. Michel Barrette also performed well for his first official motorsport race, finishing seventeenth overall, seventh in the senior class, and fourth amongst the rookies.
On Sunday, Coupal and Bedard shared the starting line and their battle lasted throughout the duration of the race. Coupal, the 2016 champion, finished ahead of Bedard claiming his first victory of the 2017 season. The fight for the podium’s third place was also very intense, with positions constantly changing every lap. Qualifying in ninth place, Valerie Limoges had an excellent climb up the leaderboard, rounding out a first, second and third finish for the Total Canada team’s drivers.
The Sorel-Tracy Nissan teammates Kevin King and Stefan Gauthier completed the top five, ahead of Jean-Michel Isabelle and Metod Topolnik, who won the senior class for the first time, ahead of Normand Boyer. Among the rookies, Jake Exton claimed first place following Sunday’s race. Michel Barrette finished in sixteenth place following a spectacular battle with his son Nicolas, with three thousandths of a second separating both drivers at the finish line.
Similar to the first race weekend at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park last week, numerous Nissan Micra owners attended the second race weekend at the Circuit Mont-Tremblant. For the 2017 season, Nissan Canada is inviting Nissan Micra owners to attend all race weekends free of charge. In order to take advantage of this opportunity, Nissan Micra owners must register three weeks in advance at http://www.micracup.com/eventregistration/. All registered Nissan Micra owners will receive two free tickets and parking access for the race weekend of their choice.
The Nissan Micra owners that attended the race weekend at Circuit Mont-Tremblant had the opportunity to do a parade lap of the track on both Saturday and Sunday. Nearly 50 Nissan Micra owners were present and for most of them, it was their first introduction to motorsports. It was also an exciting opportunity for them to witness how their Micras perform on the track, in the hands of the very talented Nissan Micra Cup drivers.
The Nissan Micra Cup community will reconvene at the Circuit Mont-Tremblant for the third race weekend of the season, from July 21 to 23. Prior to that, a discovery day will be held for Nissan Micra Cup fans at Mirabel’s Circuit ICAR on June 18.
Source: Coupe Nissan Micra Cup