Nissan Micra Cup directors pleased with 2018 season
Executives of the Canadian Nissan Micra Cup say they are satisfied with this year’s running of the series that saw Olivier Bédard take a third title in four years.
This season was made of six meetings of two rounds each and had 34 drivers compete overall. Races were held at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Calabogie Motorsport Park, the Mont-Tremblant circuit and the Trois-Rivières street course. In the final drivers’ championship standings, Bédard finished first with a total of 472 points and seven overall victories during the season.
Following Bédard in the standings were Kevin King (350), Jake Exton (316) and Valérie Limoges (307). Veteran racer Normand Boyer finished sixth (219) and earned the 2018 Senior Class champion title. Fadi Mourad finished seventh (214 points), claiming the Rookie of the Year spot. The Cup also saw the participation of 13 rookie drivers this year.
“The season was very positive all around. I am satisfied by the participation rate, despite the challenge of attracting drivers to Ontario events,” said Jacques Deshaies, promoter of the Nissan Micra Cup.
“Ontario hosts half of Micra Cup races, so I would like to have more drivers in the series that come from the province. I’m hopeful for next season because we met many Ontario drivers during last month’s NASCAR weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, who showed a lot of interest in the series. A few have already contacted me to ask about available cars for next season or the price of a new car, so I am very positive. We also have interest from new Quebec teams who want to join the series, so I think 2019 is going to be even better.”
With the showroom stock Micras being so equal in terms of performance, drafting is the key to success, and contacts and bumping was not uncommon. That led to certain inevitable arguments and penalties that frustrated certain competitors. Anyway, most of the 2018 races featured exciting, close, door-to-door racing.
“We saw a lot of action all season long but I’m most happy to see that the drivers brought their cars back practically in one piece,” Deshaies continued. “There were some incidents, such as Frédéric Bernier unfortunately hitting the wall in Trois-Rivières, but this was a pure racing accident that is part of the risks of a street race. Aside from that, there were no other problems with the cars or with the drivers’ conduct. In a series where the drivers are battling as close as within tenths of a second from each other, contact is hard to avoid, but during the 2018 season there were very few incidents.”
Very few changes for 2019
With the Cup confirmed for 2019 and 2020, Deshaies also talked about next season. “We have been thinking about 2019 since this year’s mid-season point, but because of the availability of the tracks, we cannot make a lot of changes,” he explained.
“If we had 15 different tracks in Ontario and Québec, we would have more flexibility and could play around with the calendar. It is important for the Nissan Micra Cup to be seen by a large audience and we only find this kind of interest at less than ten Canadian racing events. If we receive offers to participate in new events, then we will consider them, but for now we are really happy with our calendar and the 2019 one should remain more or less the same.”
Joni Paiva, President of Nissan Canada, attended the last event of the season at the Mont-Tremblant circuit. He talked about how important it was for the company to involve its customers in the Cup. “It was important that Nissan customers feel involved in the Nissan Micra Cup events,“ said Paiva.
“The Nissan track parades are a wonderful idea and I’m proud that it has been put in place through the collaboration with local promoters. Don’t forget that the Nissan Micra Cup is already a very original series in and of itself. Three years ago, if we had to choose a model in the Nissan range adapted for motorsports, we would not have chosen the Micra. The idea had to be original with a nice, efficient and reliable car that would allow you to race at a very affordable cost. Involving the public and our customers with these ingredients was a priority.”
Jake Exton captures victory in final race of the season
Schedule of the 2019 Nissan Micra Cup season released
About this article
|Series||Nissan Micra Cup|
|Drivers||Olivier Bedard , Valerie Limoges , Kevin King , Normand Boyer|