Coupal wins Round 12, Bédard claims Nissan Micra Cup title

In scorching temperatures, Xavier Coupal wins 12th and final round of the 2017 Nissan Micra Cup on the demanding Mont-Tremblant circuit, North of Montréal.

Coupal wins Round 12, Bédard claims Nissan Micra Cup title
Olivier Bédard
Valérie Limoges
Xavier Coupal
Jake Exton
Stefan Rzadzinski
Metod Topolnik
Normand Boyer
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Saturday’s 30-minute race also confirmed Olivier Bédard’s second title in the Micra Cup, having won the first championship in Season 1 in 2015.

Bédard, driving the Albi Nissan/Total Canada No. 99 Micra, clinched his second pole position of the meeting during this morning’s sole qualifying session. Valérie Limoges set the second fastest time, only one-tenth of a second down to Bédard. Xavier Coupal qualified third ahead of Jean-Michel Isabelle, Stefan Gauthier, Stefan Rzadzinski, Method Topolnik, Normand Boyer, Fadi Mourad and Frédéric Bernier. Twenty-three participated in the session held under blue skies and very unusually hot weather.

Title contender Kevin King, who totalled his car yesterday in a scary, high-speed crash that happened during the opening lap of the race, watched the qualifying session from the pit lane.

At the green, Bédard took the lead f the pack with Coupal quickly ahead of Limoges for second place. At the end of Lap 1, the order was Bédard, Coupal, Limoges, Isabelle, Gauthier, Topolnik and Rzadzinski.

Titanic battle out in front

The top three cars ran together, like glued to one each other. Behind them, the order remained unchanged, except for Rzadzinski who was up in sixth place by Lap 6.

Behind them, there was a fantastic battle for eighth place involving six drivers led by Normand Boyer.

On Lap 7, Coupal crossed the line in first place, but Bédard retook the lead a few corners later. On Lap 10, Rzadzinski made it to fourth place, but he was too far back to put pressure on the top three drivers.

During the 15th and last lap, Coupal managed to find a way pass Bédard to take first place. Coupal crossed the line in first place, just a few feet in front of Bédard and Valérie Limoges. Rzadzinski was fourth, followed by Gauthier, Isabelle, Topolnik, Fadi Mourad, Briton Jake Exton, Normand Boyer, Nicolas Barrette and Vincent Doyle.

“I gave everything I had,” race winner Coupal told when he exited his car. “The car was understeering unbelievably. It was far from being perfect. I had to keep in Olivier’s [Bédard] draft. At the mid-race point, he passed me for the lead, but I was able to retake the lead soon after. We then pulled away from the rest of the field. I made my move on the last lap. He was fair and didn’t close the door on me.”

Third place Bédard celebrated his second Nissan Micra Cup championship. “It was a tight race,” Bédard said. “I had the advantage, because Coupal could only keep up with me because he was benefitting from my draft. I knew I had the faster car, and I was conserving my tires. I was hoping that Valérie [Limoges] would interfere with our battle. Coupal made a good move on the last lap to pass me. It was a good race.”

In the final drivers’ point standings, Bédard is first and champion, followed by Kevin King and Xavier Coupal.

Olivier Bédard takes victory at penultimate round of the Nissan Micra Cup
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