Bédard takes victory in Nissan Micra season opener
Olivier Bédard scored an impressive victory in the wet opening round of the 2018 Nissan Micra Cup at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Two-time Cup champion Olivier Bédard captured pole position in his No. 1 Micra with a time of 1:43.679. Veteran competitor Normand Boyer lined up second on the grid in the No. 11 Nissan ahead of Kevin King (No. 40) Fadi Mourad (No. 77) Valérie Limoges (No. 220) and the surprising Edward Wong (No. 80).
The field of 16 cars got the green in appalling conditions with rain and fog.
Bédard quickly pulled away from the rest of the field while Boyer and King engaged in a furious battle over second place. However, Mourad lost control of his car on the wet and greasy grass and damaged his Nissan when he hit the Turn 4 guardrail.
The Safety Car was sent onto the track to retrieve the No. 77 car. Moments later, Limoges drove into the pits because of a broken water pump belt.
It took a long time to recover the stricken car of Mourad. Out on the race track, drivers did everything they could to try to get some heat into their Pirelli tires.
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The race scheduled for 30 minutes restarted at the end of Lap 5. Bédard again powered away to let Boyer and King battled for second place while Ed Wong and Jake Exton fought for fourth place.
On Lap 7, Bédard enjoyed a 2.9 second lead over King, Boyer, last year Rookie of the Year Jake Exton and Peter Dyck.
Bédard was a man on a mission, setting the fastest lap of the race and stretching his lead to four seconds over the new driver in second position, Kevin King. Frédéric Bernier, in the No. 28 car was now up in sixth place after he started from 10th position.
On Lap 11, Boyer drafted King’s car and passed him on the Andretti straight for second place.
The race ended on Lap 13 with Bédard claiming victory after he ran away from the pack. Normand Boyer came in second, five seconds down to Bédard, beating Kevin King by seven tenths of a second.
Jake Exton arrived home in fourth place ahead of Peter Dyck, Frédéric Bernier, Michael Habrich, Ed Wong, American Mike Ogren and Austin Riley.
“The car ran so well!” said Bédard after the race. “I made a very good start and I saw that I was easily able to pull away from the rest of the field. During the full course caution, I checked where I had good traction and where the track was slippery. So, on the second start, I made another good start. I saw that Boyer and King were fighting hard, so I ran three very quick laps to extend my lead. After that, I slowed down a bit, making sure I wouldn't make a mistake.”
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