Olivier Bédard takes first victory of the season
Round 3 of the Nissan Micra Cup was held Saturday on the Mont-Tremblant road course located in the Québec Laurentians.
Olivier Bédard, the 2015 Canadian Nissan Micra Cup, captured his first win of the year after two of his rivals collided and retired from the race.
Jean-Michel Isabelle - the winner of the first two rounds of the year last weekend at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park - captured pole position in his No. 86 Micra. Last year champion, Xavier Coupal, qualified second ahead of Olivier Bédard, Valérie Limoges, Kevin King and Stefan Gauthier.
Twenty-two cars lined up behind the Nissan Sentra Nismo pace car, and at the green, Isabelle jumped into the lead in front of Coupal and Bédard.
Bédard moved up to second place, but got passed by his teammate Coupal on Lap 3 with Limoges moving into third place.
Before the end of the next lap, Coupal powered into the lead. Limoges was now second and Isabelle was third.
Chaos in Corner 8
When the leading trio arrived in Corner 8, Isabelle’s car went straight at high speed into the side of Coupal’s Micra, causing the two rivals to retire on the spot.
The incident propelled Limoges into the lead as the pace car took to the track because of the incident.
“The ABS played tricks on me,” Isabelle told Motorsport.com after the race. “I was running behind Valerie [Limoges] and when I started to brake for Corner 8, the ABS immediately started working hard. The brake pedal went straight to the floor with the ABS in action and my car was going in a straight line. I avoided Valérie’s car, went into the grass, but I could do nothing to miss Xavier’s [Coupal] car. That’s too bad. I apologised to him afterwards.”
The race restarted on Lap 9, and Bédard timed his move to the perfection and moved into the lead. Another track incident happened soon after which necessitated another intervention of the pace car. The race was restarted on Lap 12 with Bédard still in the lead. Limoges tried to pass him at the green, causing her to put two wheels in the slippery grass and to bump the leader. She eventually stayed in second place, but Kevin King quickly put her under pressure.
King passed Limoges for second place on the last lap. Bédard crossed the line in first, followed by King and Limoges.
Australian Keishi Akukai arrived home in fourth place, beating Normand Boyer, Method Topolnik and Stefan Gauthier.
“It’s was a strange race,” said Bédard after the race. “I’m lucky to have won. I missed my getaway on the last restart, and I got bumped from behind. In fact, that allowed me to stay in first place.”
Jean-Michel Isabelle makes it two in a row
Xavier Coupal wins Round 4 of the Micra Cup at Mont-Tremblant