Kevin King is still the points leader, while two rookie drivers join the title fight this weekend in Ontario.
This weekend, the Nissan Micra Cup held the third and fourth rounds of the 2020 season at Calabogie Motorsports Park in Ontario. The 5.05km long circuit, located southwest of Ottawa, hosted two races in radically different weather conditions, both marked by victories for Kevin King.
Of the six series that competed in the Calabogie Cup Race Weekend 2020, the Nissan Micra Cup had the largest starting grids. Both Micra Cup races were spectacular to watch as Saturday’s race continued on in the rain while Sunday’s took place in fair weather.
Saturday morning’s qualifying session saw Kevin King (LP Apparel / Nissan Gabriel team), point standings leader and winner of the opening two rounds of the year, capture a pole position in both races. Two Ontario racers fresh out of karting and teammates at SPI Racing team, Gavin Sanders and Justin Di Benedetto, lined up second and third on the grid, respectively. For the second race, King took pole position with Jesse Lazare (PayPal / Motorsports In Action) and Sanders just behind him.
Held in the rain and on slippery tarmac, Saturday’s race saw Sanders power into the lead away from King from the start. After two and a half laps, King managed to overtake Sanders and moved into the lead. With that, Sanders’ hope to win a race in his rookie season unfortunately vanished.
Fifth on the grid, Valerie Limoges had a fantastic start and quickly slipped into third place. The veteran racer challenged Gavin Sanders for second place during the second half of the race, but eventually crossed the line in third place, scoring her third podium finish in the third race of the season.
Meanwhile, an intense battle for fourth place involved Di Benedetto and PayPal / Motorsports In Action teammates Taylor Near and Jesse Lazare, with Near finishing fourth, ahead of Di Benedetto and Lazare. Sylvain Ouellet crossed the finish line seventh and claimed victory in the senior class. Rounding out the top ten were Éric Chaput, Frédéric Bernier and François-Xavier Lassus, who all competed well and made very few mistakes throughout the race despite the difficult conditions.
Sunday’s race featured another thrilling battle for victory between King and Lazare. The race turned out to be a carbon copy of the opening round from the event at the Mont-Tremblant circuit where action raged all race long. At the start of the race, King powered into the lead but was quickly overtaken by Lazare. Lazare was in the lead for most of the race, but was passed by King on the final lap. It all came to an end as King drove away with the win, scoring his fourth consecutive victory this season.
Jesse Lazare finished the race in second place ahead of Benedetto and Limoges as the first four cars crossed the line bumper-to-bumper. For rookie Di Benedetto, this was his first podium finish of the season, while Gavin Sanders finished the race in the top five, finishing in front of Taylor Near, Chaput, the winner in the Senior category, Nicolas Barrette, Bernier and Ouellette.
With that, Kevin King is still on top of the point standings ahead of Lazare, Limoges, Near and Sanders.
Although spectators were not admitted at the event this weekend, fans had several ways to follow the action on social media as news and videos were posted on the series’ Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. In addition, for the first time, all eight races of the 2020 Nissan Micra Cup will be broadcast this fall on Réseau Des Sports (RDS).
With the addition of the new event at Circuit ICAR, the 2020 season will be made of a total of eight races, making the Nissan Micra Cup the motorsport series with the most events of all Canadian championships and all classes combined in 2020.