Xavier Coupal and Olivier Bédard Exchange Wins!

- High intensity races for the series' big debut at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park -

MISSISSAUGA, ON, July 10, 2016 /CNW/ - The Nissan Micra Cup held its seventh and eighth races of the 2016 season this weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, the popular track formerly known as "Mosport" situated not far from Toronto. In typical summertime heat and in front of thousands of spectators on-site for one of the most important motorsport events in Canada (also bringing together the prestigious IMSA SportsCar Endurance series), the Nissan Micra Cup offered the public two spectacular races.

In action for the first time at the fast Canadian Tire Motorsport Park circuit, and only Canadian series at the event, the small and agile Nissan Micras provided excitement for the fans, participants from other series, and members of the American and Canadian media invited by Nissan Canada.  The 26 competing drivers provided two intense races with non-stop action as they battled for victory.

During the first race, Kevin King started in pole position, but was passed on the first turn by Xavier Coupal, while 2015 champion Olivier Bédard followed by only a few one-hundredths of a second.  This trio of drivers was followed very closely behind by Albertan Stefan Rzadzinski, American Nic Hammann of the Nismo GT Academy Team, and Valérie Limoges who was once again consistent near the front of the pack.

These six drivers hit the mid-way point of the race separated by less than half a second, and behind them, a second group of six drivers led by Marc-Antoine Demers and Canadian Touring Car champion Karl Wittmer, who made his Nissan Micra Cup debut this weekend, provided another intense battle. Top ranked Ontarian, Brian Makse, also performed well in the first race, leading a group of five drivers who were fighting in the middle of the pack. 

In the end, Kevin King crossed the finish line first but received a penalty from the officials for putting all four of his wheels off the track as he passed Coupal on the last lap.  Xavier Coupal was therefore declared the winner, ahead of his teammate Olivier Bédard and Stefan Rzadzinski. Nic Hammann and Valérie Limoges completed the top five.

Once again under a blaring sun, the second race, on Sunday afternoon, was just as exciting. At the front of the pack, a quick battle developed between King, Coupal, and Bédard. Qualifying in pole position, Olivier Bédard was passed by Kevin King on the first lap but Bédard eventually reclaimed the lead to take his second win of the season. King and Coupal finished on his heels, as Marc-Antoine Demers won another heated battle for fourth place in front of Nicolas Hammann and Stefan Rzadzinski.

Normand Boyer finished in seventh spot, ahead of Valérie Limoges, Metod Topolnik and Pierre Clavet. In eleventh, Stéfan Gauthier earned himself a second consecutive victory among the novice drivers.

Mrs. Joann Villeneuve, spouse of late Canadian racing legend Gilles Villeneuve, presented the top three drivers with their trophies on the podium. It was particularly special for Olivier Bédard, winner of the Gilles-Villeneuve Award last year following his championship title.

In the drivers' championship, Xavier Coupal has reclaimed the top of the standings with 242 points, ahead of Olivier Bédard (221), King (220), Rzadzinski (215), Limoges (192) and Demers (168). Peter Dyck is first in the rookie drivers' standings, ahead of Stéfan Gauthier and Ashley Sahakian.

After this event at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, in Bowmanville, the series returns to another exceptional track in Quebec, the Circuit Mont-Tremblant in the Laurentides region.  As part of the Summer Classic, the drivers will compete in the ninth and tenth rounds of the 2016 season on July 23 and 24. 

For full race results, visit:
http://www.micracup.com/Results_2016_Race?RID=7 (race 7)
http://www.micracup.com/Results_2016_Race?RID=8 (race 8)

Overall championship standings after eight races:

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

Nissan Micra Cup 2016 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 2016 Nissan Micra Cup exclusively features 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 has the exact same specifications, resulting in a competition that truly reveals the most skilled drivers. The 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 last year, 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: "Intense battles during the first race, won by Xavier Coupal. (CNW Group/Nissan Canada Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160710_C6927_PHOTO_EN_731344.jpg

Image with caption: "Mrs. Joann Villeneuve presents the trophy to the winner of the second race, Olivier Bédard. (CNW Group/Nissan Canada Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160710_C6927_PHOTO_EN_731342.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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