Mississauga – The Nissan Sentra Cup was in action this weekend at the Complexe ICAR in Mirabel, for races 7 and 8 of the 2023 season. Six weeks after hosting the Nissan Grand Prix on the same track, which is situated on the concrete surface of a section of the Montreal-Mirabel international airport, the drivers had two races scheduled. Both races took place on Saturday and were won by the 2022 Series champion Valérie Limoges, followed by Alexandre Fortin.
Qualified in the pole position on Friday, Simon Charbonneau seemed poised to replicate last July's performance, when he won both races of the Nissan Grand Prix. As the first race commenced, Charbonneau surged into the lead but his progress was halted by a full course yellow after the midway point of the race.
Shortly after the restart, Valérie Limoges took advantage of Charbonneau's off-course excursion at the first corner to claim the lead. However, the two drivers made contact two corners later, with Charbonneau colliding heavily with her car. The race was then stopped and did not resume, resulting in Valérie Limoges securing her first victory in the series since 2021.
For second place, Alexandre Fortin managed to outpace his father Daniel by a few tenths of a second. Following closely behind were Nicolas Barrette, Mathieu Miron, Nicolas Miron, Sylvain Ouellet, Simon Vincent, André Lapointe and Jean Audet rounding out the Top 10. Meanwhile, in the Micra class, Nicolas Lévesque secured first place from Charles-Étienne Boucher in the closing laps.
Presented a few hours later, the second race unfolded without Simon Charbonneau, who had been excluded by the officials due to the incident in the first race. The race began with a historic moment for the Series: a family securing the first row. Alexandre Fortin starting from pole position alongside his father Daniel in a 100% Ste-Foy Beauport Nissan team duo.
Proceeding without any incidents, this second race witnessed the Fortins lead from start to finish. They faced pressure from Nicolas Barrette and Simon Vincent during the first laps. On the penultimate lap, Daniel Fortin managed to overtake his son but, showcasing the camaraderie and familial spirit of the series, the two drivers crossed the last lap side by side. Ultimately, Alexandre Fortin secured the victory, edging out his father by a mere 207 thousandths of a second.
Nicolas Barrette secured a spot on the podium, preserving his title hopes. Placing fourth, Valérie Limoges took the wheel of André Lapointe's car after her Sentra was damaged in the first race's incident. In a display of remarkable sportsmanship, Lapointe lent his car to the 2022 champion for this race.
Following were Éric Chaput, Nicolas Miron, Benoît Gagnon and Marie-Soleil Labelle. For Marie-Soleil, this was her best career result in the series and her second Top 10 in 4 races. Simon Vincent and Christian Thibault rounded out the top 10. In the Micra class, Nicolas Lévesque secured another victory surpassing Charles-Étienne Boucher.
In the drivers' championship, after eight races, Alexandre Fortin emerged as the new frontrunner, leading ahead of Nicolas Barrette, Valérie Limoges, Simon Charbonneau and Daniel Fortin.
Next event at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in a few days!
The upcoming event is scheduled for September 1, 2 and 3 at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) in Ontario. Situated northeast of Toronto, the track, previously referred to as Mosport, boasts a storied legacy, having hosted eight editions of the Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada. For the 2023 season, it will host the Nissan Sentra Cup for a single occasion. With its high-speed corners, the CTMP always offers plenty of action for fans but also for competitors leaving no room for even the slightest error if victory is to be achieved.
The event named, the Labor Day Weekend Sprints, will feature two 40-minute races. Set to coincide with the Labor Day weekend in Canada, this event promises excitement. The Nissan Sentra Cup drivers will take to the track from Friday, for two free practice sessions (10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. then 1:45 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.). Saturday, after a short qualifying session from 8:15 to 8:35, the start of the first race will be given at 11:15. The second round will take place at the same time on Sunday. Both races will be streamed live on the Series' Facebook page.
Alexandre Fortin continues to hold a streak of two consecutive victories on this track, which he achieved in September 2022. The Nissan Canada simulator will also be present on site, a thrilling addition for fans in the paddocks.
SCHEDULE 2023 - NISSAN SENTRA CUP
May 26, 27, 28 Spring Classic, Circuit Mont-Tremblant, Québec
July 9 Nissan Grand Prix, Complexe ICAR - Mirabel, Québec
August 4, 5, 6 Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières, Trois-Rivières, Québec
August 26 NASCAR Event, Complexe ICAR - Mirabel, Québec
September 1, 2, 3 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Bowmanville, Ontario
September 22, 23, 24 Fall Classic, Circuit Mont-Tremblant, Québec
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