Exciting battles throughout rounds five and six of the 2020 Nissan Micra Cup at Circuit ICAR last Saturday.
The Nissan Micra Cup competitors raced in rounds five and six of the 2020 championship at Circuit ICAR – the previous grounds of the Montréal-Mirabel International Airport. Not only was this the first time that the popular Canadian spec racing series hosted an event at Circuit ICAR, it was also a double duty day for the drivers as they took on two races in the same day!
Beautiful weather accompanied the event as the Nissan Micra Cup served the main feature of the day. Drivers and teams kept busy with two qualifying sessions, immediately followed by the two races. Kevin King won the first race of the day, extending his lead on the points table, while Jesse Lazare finally broke into the winner’s circle, securing his first victory of the season in the second race.
Compared to the previous road courses in series, Circuit ICAR’s track surface is made of concrete, not asphalt, offering a different level of grip. The Nissan Micra Cup cars are identical for all drivers and for that reason, pure driving talent and a strong understanding of tire pressure were key factors to success.
The qualifying round for the first race saw Jesse Lazare capture pole position ahead of championship leader, Kevin King. Young Ontario driver, Gavin Sanders, proved his ambitions by finishing third, ahead of Valérie Limoges, Justin Di Benedetto and Mark Davis. Young driver Justin Arseneau qualified seventh in the first race and performed even better during the second session, placing fourth behind Jesse Lazare, Kevin King and Valérie Limoges. At just 15 years old, Justin Arseneau is now the youngest driver in the history of the Nissan Micra Cup.
The first race of the event, held early afternoon, quickly turned into another epic battle between Jesse Lazare and Kevin King – marking the fifth battle in five races so far this season. At the two-thirds point of the race, Kevin King slipped ahead of Jesse Lazare into the lead position with a breathtaking overtaking maneuver.
The battle for third place was equally as intense between Valérie Limoges, Justin Arseneau and Gavin Sanders. As Gavin Sanders captured his second podium in three races, Valérie Limoges, Justin Arseneau, Mark Davis, Justin Di Benedetto, Sylvain Ouellet, Nicolas Barrette and Frédéric Bernier completing the top ten.
After a short two-hour break, the second race started on Circuit ICAR’s long track once again. Jesse Lazare secured his first 2020 victory from the start by benefitting from a great breakaway, and managed to pull ahead of Valérie Limoges, who overtook Kevin King going into the first turn. King eventually passed Valérie Limoges and caught up to Jesse Lazare, who was in the lead with just a few laps remaining. This time though, Kevin King was unable to perform the magnificent passing maneuver from the previous race, and Lazare, the winner of the 2017 Daytona 24 Hours, finished first ahead of his rival for the title.
Valérie Limoges arrived in third place, just four-tenths of a second ahead of Sanders. Mark Davis, Justin Arseneau, Samuel Rowe and Justin Di Benedetto completed the top eight. Frédéric Bernier finished ninth overall, but first in the Senior class, ahead of Mario Berthiaume who collected his first top ten of the season.
In the overall championship, Kevin King still remains first in the points standings, ahead of Jesse Lazare, Valérie Limoges, Gavin Sanders, Taylor Near and Justin Di Benedetto.
All eight races of the 2020 Nissan Micra Cup will be broadcasted this fall on Réseau Des Sports (RDS). This is a grand premiere for the Nissan Micra Cup. Each show will be 30-minutes long and will feature one race. The first show will be broadcasted Sunday, October 25, at 11:00 a.m. (EST) on RDS2. The following shows will go on the air at 11:00 a.m. on November 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 and December 6 and 13.