Kevin King and Xavier Coupal share victories in Calabogie

- Nissan Micra Cup drivers overcame rain and cold to put on a spectacular show at Calabogie Motorsports Park for 2016 season opener -

MISSISSAUGA, ON, May 15, 2016 /CNW/ - The Nissan Micra Cup officially started its 2016 season this past weekend at Ontario's Calabogie Motorsports Park. An event dampened by difficult weather conditions saw rain, wind and unseasonably cold temperatures challenge the drivers.  At the wheel of their fun-to-drive, agile and practically stock Nissan Micra S cars, the drivers put on an exciting show during both races this past weekend, with victories going to Kevin King and Xavier Coupal.

Nic Hammann, a young American driver from the Nissan GT Academy team, earned the pole position for Saturday's race under heavy rain conditions and less than twenty-four hours after first test-driving his Nissan Micra on the Calabogie track. Behind him were Kevin King, of the Sorel-Tracy Nissan team, the Albi Nissan team drivers, Xavier Coupal and 2015 champion Olivier Bédard, Stefan Rzadzinski of Alberta (Pneus Touchette team) and the Quebecker Metod Topolnik (Azure Racing team).

Held on Saturday afternoon on a track that continued to dry as the laps went on, the first race of the 2016 Nissan Micra Cup included more than twenty-five drivers and was quickly controlled by Quebecker Kevin King. King managed to hold off constant pressure from Xavier Coupal, Olivier Bédard and Nic Hammann, as the four remained a pack for the duration of the race, finishing within three seconds of each other. Bédard was eventually disqualified when his Micra did not meet the minimum weight requirements. 

Stefan Rzadzinski therefore completed the top four, ahead of Metod Topolnik, who fought off pressure from veteran drivers Jacques Bélanger and Normand Boyer, both new to the series.  Another great battle took place for eighth place, which was eventually granted to Valérie Limoges, who finished ahead of Valérie Chiasson. Nicolas Touchette was tenth and Ashley Sahakian earned the top spot amongst the novice drivers. 

At Sunday's race, Nic Hammann once again started in pole position but a multi-car collision at the first turn eliminated several favourites, including Hammann, Bédard, King and Chiasson. The then shortened race was dominated and won by Xavier Coupal, ahead of Stefan Rzadzinski and Jacques Bélanger. Valérie Limoges was able to overtake Marc-Antoine Demers for fourth place.

In the drivers' championship, Xavier Coupal leads with 76 points, ahead of Stefan Rzadzinski (66), Jacques Bélanger (52), Kevin King (45), Valérie Limoges (44) and Nic Hammann (40). As for the novices, victories were split between Ashley Sahakian on Saturday and Stéfan Gauthier on Sunday. 

The first race weekend in the 2016 Nissan Micra Cup definitely held up to the expectations for the season ahead and the endless action is a sign of things to come. The next race weekend is happening at Circuit Mont-Tremblant, which is where things kicked off last year for the 2015 Nissan Micra Cup.

For full race results, visit: http://www.micracup.com/Results_2016_ResultatsCourse.php?RID=1

For more information on the Nissan Micra Cup, please visit: www.nissan.ca/micracup.

2016 Nissan Micra Cup Season 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: "The 2016 Nissan Micra Cup launched in Ontario at Calabogie Motorsports Park this past weekend (CNW Group/Nissan Canada Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160515_C6627_PHOTO_EN_690682.jpg

Image with caption: "Nic Hammann, driver from the Nissan GT Academy team, saw a promising start for the 2016 season (CNW Group/Nissan Canada Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160515_C6627_PHOTO_EN_690684.jpg

For further information: Media contacts: Didier Marsaud, Director, Corporate Communications, Nissan Canada, Tel: 905-629-6400, Email: didier.marsaud@nissancanada.com; Stephanie Ronson, Cohn & Wolfe, Tel: 647-259-3278, Email: stephanie.ronson@cohnwolfe.ca

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