Mississauga, Ont. – The Nissan Sentra Cup kicked off its second season of racing at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Ontario this past weekend. Two races were held and saw Alexandre Fortin and Simon Charbonneau each take a victory.
No less than seven new drivers entered the Cup this year. Among them, young Justin Arseneau who competed in the US-based Formula 4 open-wheel series last year. Aboard his ICAR Nissan Sentra, Arseneau made an impressive debut in the Cup, claiming pole position in the first qualifying session on Saturday. The intensity of the battle at the front of the field with these near-series Nissan Sentras was demonstrated by the fact that the seven fastest cars were separated by just one second.
The first race started as a severe thunderstorm was brewing in the region. Justin Arseneau, Alexandre Fortin and Simon Charbonneau fought hard for the lead, but after just three laps of racing a violent storm and extreme winds stuck hard. A widespread power outage in the region and a tornado threat brought the race to a premature end. Alexandre Fortin was declared the winner in front of Arseneau, Normand Boyer, Valérie Limoges, Daniel Fortin, Sylvain Ouellet, Frédéric Chaput, Jean Audet, Nicolas Miron and André Lapointe. François-Angers Routhier captured victory in the Micra class.
Rain welcomed the competitors on Sunday for Race 2. Simon Charbonneau started the 40-minute race in third place and powered into the lead in Corner 1 ahead of Arseneau and Fortin. Fighting to find some grip on the very slippery tarmac, the Nissan Sentra Cup drivers put on a terrific show for the fans.
Arseneau managed to slip into first place shortly after the halfway point mark, but he made a minor excursion in the grass that allowed Charbonneau to move into first place. From then, Charbonneau was en route to a brilliant maiden victory in the series. Arseneau, Alexandre Fortin, Limoges, Miron, Ouellet, Daniel Fortin, Nicolas Barrette, François Angers-Routhier (Micra class winner) and Raphaël St-Pierre completed the top 10.
The CTMP event also featured track parades of Canadian Nissan Sentra owners as well as Nissan Zs from all eras on the track on Saturday and Sunday. Spectators had the opportunity to admire vintage 240s, 240SXs, 280s or even 510s alongside more modern models such as the 300, 350 and 370.
The event also featured track parades on Saturday and Sunday of Canadian Nissan Sentra owners, including members of the Ontario Z Club. These parades, led by the brand-new Nissan Z, offered spectators the opportunity to admire vintage 240s, 240SXs, 280s or even 510s alongside more modern models such as the 300, 350 and 370.
In the Nissan Sentra Cup paddock, spectators were able to virtually drive the new Nissan Z using the GranTurismo 7 platform in a simulator specially set-up by professional race driver and three-time Nissan Micra Cup Champion, Olivier Bédard.
The two races held this weekend, as well as the Nissan parades, can be viewed in their entirety on the Nissan Sentra Cup YouTube and Facebook pages.
The next event will take place in four weeks, when the Nissan Sentra Cup will perform for the first time in its history at the Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada, on Montreal's Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve. More than 30 drivers will be in action for two new races held June 18 and 19.
- 30 -
To follow the Nissan Sentra Cup on social media:
2022 SCHEDULE - NISSAN SENTRA CUP
May 20-22 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Bowmanville, Ontario
June 17-19 Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada, Montréal, Québec
July 22-24 Summer Classic, Circuit Mont-Tremblant, Québec
August 5-7 Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières, Trois-Rivières, Québec
September 2-4 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Bowmanville, Ontario
September 23-25 Fall Classic, Circuit Mont-Tremblant, Québec