2016 Nissan Micra Cup Season Preview One Month Ahead of the First Race

-  2014 Nissan GT Academy U.S. winner, Nic Hammann, joins the group of Canadian drivers for the second season -

MISSISSAUGA, ON, April 13, 2016 /CNW/ - In 30 days, Canada's most affordable racing series, the Nissan Micra Cup, will enter its second season starting with its first-ever race in Ontario at Calabogie Motorsports Park. At the wheel of the fun-to-drive and agile Nissan Micras will be 30 drivers who will compete in 16 races through eight weekends. The 2016 Nissan Micra Cup race calendar consists of three race weekends in Ontario, and five race weekends in the series' native province of Quebec.

2014 Nissan GT Academy U.S. winner to take on Canadian spec series racing

Last year, the Nissan International GT Academy program left its mark in Canada as two GT Academy drivers – respectively hailing from India and Thailand – competed in the Micra Cup with one or both drivers achieving podium finishes almost every single race.  The Nissan GT Academy team has tapped Nic Hammann, 2014 Nissan GT Academy U.S. winner, to compete in the Micra Cup's second season. After winning the 2014 Nissan GT Academy North American competition, 22-year-old Hammann competed last year in Moscow, Russia in the Blancpain Sprint Series in the GT-R GT3, and in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge in the Doran Racing Nissan 370Z. Nic also competed and aided the development of the Pirelli World Challenge 370Z Touring Car and GTS car with CA Sport team based in Salt Lake City, Utah. The opportunity to participate in the Nissan Micra Cup is an exceptional challenge for Hammann who has never raced in Canada or competed in a full season. Hammann is also part of a minority group in the Micra Cup competition, as one of the few who didn't compete in 2015.

After the success of the first season, most of the drivers from the first season will be back on the grid. One of the returning competitors is Olivier Bédard, the young Québec driver and the 2015 Nissan Micra Cup champion, who will attempt to defend his title this year with the Albi Nissan Team. Stefan Rzadzinski (Pneus Touchette) from Alberta who earned a pair of victories last year, is also back on the grid; along with female drivers Valérie Limoges (H. Grégoire); Valérie Chiasson (Nissan Gabriel Group); and Ashley Sahakian (United Auto Racing).

The expansion to Ontario has attracted a group of new drivers as well. Among them is Brian Makse, the race driver/journalist who will drive a Micra sponsored by Guelph-Waterloo Nissan dealers; and the Toronto Alta Nissan team. Alta Nissan will compete with two cars driven by Martin Gray and Alta Principal Owner, Eddy Wong.

The Nissan Micra Cup, with its affordable cars and its action-packed races, inherently attracts a large number of participants new to motorsport, some of whom are very young. To further support young talent, Team Albi Nissan will sponsor three young Québec karting drivers between the ages of 16-18 during the race weekends at Mont-Tremblant Circuit. The three teenagers are also engaged simultaneously in karting competitions in Eastern Canada.

"We are pleased to see the growing interest that the Nissan Micra Cup is generating across the country, and thrilled to fuel the excitement further by expanding the series to Ontario," says Joni Paiva, president of Nissan Canada Inc. "Once again, the diversity of the Nissan Micra Cup driver roster demonstrates just how unique the series is in its accessibility. Competitors for the 2016 season are a healthy mix of rookies and veterans and all with different racing experience. I look forward to fans in both Ontario and Quebec seeing just how spectacular and exciting spec series racing is - the Nissan way – with the stock Nissan Micra S, the most affordable new car in Canada."

Five events in Québec, three in Ontario

The 2016 Nissan Micra Cup season will kick off May 13-15 at the longest track in Canada - Calabogie Motorsports Park, located south west of Ottawa. Friday will be an official test day for all drivers before the first race of the season which is scheduled for the next day. The second race will take place on Sunday.   

Circuit Mont-Tremblant will host the series two weeks later during its traditional Spring Classic event, prior to the return of the series to the St-Eustache Autodrome for the only event presented in one day - Sunday, June 19.

The Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (formerly known as Mosport) in Bowmanville, located one hour east of Toronto, will present the fourth event, July 8-10. This event will provide a chance for the series' drivers to race before the prestigious North-American Endurance Series (IMSA SportsCar Championship).

Following a return to Québec and to the Circuit Mont-Tremblant on July 23 and 24 during the Summer Classic, the ever-popular Trois-Rivières Grand Prix will host the sixth race weekend of the year on August 12-14. September will begin with participation in the NASCAR weekend at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park during the Labour Day weekend. Finally, the Nissan Micra Cup will finish its 2016 season at the Fall Classic at the Circuit Mont-Tremblant, September 23-25.

Further information and the complete list of drivers who will participate in what will be an exceptional season of the Nissan Micra Cup will be provided soon. In the meantime, please visit www.nissan.ca/micracup.

Nissan Micra Cup 2016 Calendar:

May 13-15

Calabogie Motorsports Park, Ontario

May 27-29

Spring Classic, Circuit Mont-Tremblant, Québec

June 19

Autodrome St-Eustache, Québec

July 8-10

IMSA Weekend, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Ontario

July 22-24

Summer Classic, Circuit Mont-Tremblant, Québec

August 12-14

Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières, Québec

September 2-4  

NASCAR Weekend, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Ontario

September 23-25 

Fall Classic, Circuit Mont-Tremblant, Québec

About the Nissan Micra Cup
Sanctioned by Auto Sport Québec (ASQ) and presented by JD Promotion & Compétition with the support of Nissan Canada, the 2015 Nissan Micra Cup exclusively featured the stock Micra 1.6 S M/T model with minor modifications, including NISMO suspension - to render it race-ready.

Unlike most motorsport events, each competing Nissan Micra race vehicle had the exact same specifications, resulting in a competition that truly revealed the most skilled drivers. The 2015 Nissan Micra Cup race vehicles were equipped with the Nissan Micra's stock 1.6-litre DOHC 4-cylinder engine with dual fuel injection and Twin CVTC (Continuously Variable Timing Control) and stock 5-speed manual transmission. In its inaugural season, more than 25 Nissan Micras competed on each race weekend which included two hours of track time consisting of: a 30-minute trial, a 30-minute qualifying session and two 30-minute races.

Young karting drivers, the average Canadian looking for an entry point into motorsport competition, or anyone who wants to experience the rush of adrenaline inherent with racing cars are all well-suited to this series. In summary, the Nissan Micra Cup is for people who are passionate about motorsports, want to experience all the fun and thrills of racing, but without spending staggering amounts of money.

For more information on the Nissan Micra Cup, please go to the website www.nissan.ca/micracup.

About Nissan North America
In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized annually by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year since 2010. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and www.InfinitiUSA.com, or visit the U.S. media sites NissanNews.com and InfinitiNews.com.

About Nissan Motor Co.
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan's second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 247,500 employees globally, Nissan sold 5.32 million vehicles and generated revenue of 11.38 trillion yen (USD 103.6 billion) in fiscal year 2014. Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of more than 60 models under the Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun brands. Nissan leads the world in zero-emission mobility, dominated by sales of the LEAF, the first mass-market, pure-electric vehicle. It is the best-selling EV in history with almost 50% share of the zero-emission vehicle segment.

For more information on our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit our website at http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/.

About Nissan Canada Inc.
Nissan Canada Inc. (NCI) is the Canadian sales, marketing and distribution subsidiary of Nissan Motor Limited and Nissan North America, Inc. NCI directly employs 306 full-time staff across offices in Vancouver (BC), Mississauga (ON), and Kirkland (QC). There are 191 independent Nissan dealerships, 39 Infiniti retailers and 45 Nissan Commercial Vehicle dealers across Canada. A pioneer in zero emission mobility, Nissan made history with the introduction of the Nissan LEAF, the first affordable, mass-market, pure-electric vehicle and winner of numerous international accolades including the prestigious 2011 European Car of the Year and World Car of the Year awards.

More information about Nissan in Canada and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.nissan.ca and www.infiniti.ca.

SOURCE Nissan Canada Inc.

Image with caption: "2014 Nissan GT Academy U.S. winner, Nic Hammann, joins the group of Canadian drivers for the second season (CNW Group/Nissan Canada Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160413_C6356_PHOTO_EN_664821.jpg

Image with caption: "The 2016 Nissan Micra Cup will consist of 16 races spread across eight race weekends, with more than 30 drivers competing (CNW Group/Nissan Canada Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160413_C6356_PHOTO_EN_664819.jpg

For further information: Media contacts: Didier Marsaud, Director, Corporate Communications, Nissan Canada, Tel: 905-629-6400, Email: didier.marsaud@nissancanada.com; Jenn McCarthy, Cohn & Wolfe, Tel: 647-259-3305, Email: jennifer.mccarthy@cohnwolfe.ca

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