Jake Exton captures victory in final race of the season
Jake Exton took victory in the last race of the 2018 Canadian Nissan Micra Cup at the Mont-Tremblant circuit in the Québec Laurentians.
Exton collected his second victory of the season, finishing ahead of Jesse Lazare and Olivier Bédard.
Britain born Jake Exton planted his No. 00 Micra on pole position with a time of 2:02.043 on a cold track this morning, beating Olivier Bédard by less than one tenth of a second. Bédard clinched his third Micra title yesterday when he won Round 11. For Exton, it was a first pole position in the Cup.
Valérie Limoges qualified third in her No. 220 Nissan ahead of guest driver, Jesse Lazare (No. 21), American Mike Ogren (No. 17) and Kevin King who slightly damaged his No. 40 Micra by going off the track this morning.
The field of 18 cars took their parade laps in cold weather and under grey skies. After a clean start, a full course yellow was needed to recover two cars that hit problems during the opening lap.
The race restarted on Lap 2 with Exton leading the pack, running inches in front of Bédard, Limoges and King.
The top four competitors drafted one each other on the fast Mont-Tremblant road course. Behind them, another intense battle raged for fifth place involving Lazare, Fadi Mourad, Mike Ogren and Austin Riley.
On Lap 6, the leading quartet enjoyed an impressive three-second lead over the rest of the field. However, one lap later, King went missing. “The front right tire went flat, sadly. It’s racing, and that forced me to retire,” King explained after the race.
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The second group of cars continued their battle for fifth place with Lazare and Mourad trading place almost every lap.
On Lap 13, a second full course caution was needed to recover the damaged car of Mike Ogren.
The final restart of the 40-minute race was given on Lap 15 for a two-lap dash to the finish. Exton led the race from Bédard and Limoges.
Exton managed to not crack under pressure and crossed the line in first place, 2.1 seconds ahead of Lazare and 2.4 in front of Bédard.
“Oh man, I’m so happy!” Exton told Motorsport.com after he exited his car. “I had to endure intense pressure all race long. My brakes began to let go near the end. And then, I had almost no brakes at all. Luckily, the caution came out just at the right moment for me to cool them down. At the final restart, it was a matter of making no mistakes until the end.” His win gives him third place in the finals standings.
Valérie Limoges finished fourth after she had an on-track argument with Bédard. Marc Héroux drove a strong race in his No. 24 Nissan to take fifth place and to win the Senior division. Nicolas Barrette and Éric Chaput also impressed in this last race of the season, capturing sixth and seventh place, respectively.
Austin Riley, Alex Habrich and Peter Dyck rounded out the top 10 finishers of the race.
Bédard ranks first in the final drivers' standings with 472 points. King is second with 350, Exton finishes third with 307, Limoges is fourth with 307 and Normand Boyer is fifth with a total of 219.
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