sexta-feira, 3 de maio de 2024

The Nissan Sentra Cup enters its tenth season on Canadian tracks


Mississauga (Ontario) – Next Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19, renown Ontario racetrack, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, in Bowmanville near Oshawa, will continue  the tradition of hosting the first Nissan Sentra Cup event of the season.  Presented by Nissan Canada and JD Promotion since 2015 (when the Nissan Micra Cup was launched), the Nissan Sentra Cup will begin its tenth season during Victoria Day Weekend SpeedFest.

In addition to this milestone, it will be the first season in history to only feature drivers racing Nissan Sentra race cars, as the Micra class will not be back this year. Between twenty and twenty-five drivers are expected to take part in this 2024 championship which will see Quebec driver Alexandre Fortin compete as the defending champion.

Five-time winner, and driver of the Ste-Foy/Beauport Nissan team, Alex will attempt to become the first driver since the Sentra models entered the series in 2021 to win back-to-back titles. But this goal promises to be difficult, as two former Series' champions will also aim for the title: Valérie Limoges, the first female driver to be crowned overall champion of a Canadian national road racing series in 2022 and who has won three events in 2023, and Xavier Coupal, who clinched the title in his only full season in the 2016 Nissan Micra Cup.

They will not be the only ones competing for the top step of the podium as more than ten competitors can legitimately claim the 2024 title. Among them are veterans Sylvain Ouellet and Éric Chaput, rally champion Simon Vincent, the very promising rookie Nicolas Lévesque (last champion of the Micra class), Nicolas Barrette (a first Series' victory in 2023), Daniel Fortin (Alexandre's father) or the brothers Matt and Nicolas Miron.

This season, seven drivers will be making their first appearance at the wheel of the Sentra race car. Three of them experienced the series during the Micra Cup in previous years while four will be rookies in the Nissan Sentra Cup. This includes owner of the Nissan Thetford dealership, Steve Poulain, along with Stéphane Pouliot, the experienced Martin Harvey (several seasons in the Porsche GT3 Cup) and Rénald Hamelin, who started his Canadian racing career in the 1980s.

Once again, we find several veterans and drivers who simply want to participate and have fun  in a series with low price points  while  at the wheel of beautiful, high-performance production cars. With that said, it will also be interesting to follow the progress of the youngest drivers in the series: Marie-Soleil Labelle who is almost 20 years old, and returning for her second season, along with Vincent Lalande, who impressed during his debut last year at only 15 years old. After having perfected his experience in rally competitions where he has excelled in recent months, he will approach this new season in the Nissan Sentra Cup with confidence.

"I am happy to see that more than twenty drivers have once again entered for the tenth season of our series on Canadian tracks" mentions promoter Jacques Deshaies. "In addition, all the drivers who competed for the Micra class last year have acquired a Sentra to continue with us. It's a proof of loyalty for our series and I thank them for their involvement. I also believe that with so many Sentra's on the track, it will be an exciting season," he adds.

A season which, after the kick off at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP), will pick back up at the beginning of July at the Complexe ICAR in Mirabel, Quebec, as part of the second edition of the Nissan Grand Prix. An event which was a great success last year and is highly anticipated by fans and competitors of the series.

"I am also looking forward to the 2024 Nissan Grand Prix with great enthusiasm," says the president of Nissan Canada, Steve Milette. "The Nissan Sentra Cup is entering its tenth season of activities in the country and with all these Sentra's on the track there is no doubt that the battle for the title will be thrilling. For fans of the Nissan brand, competitors, partners, I am confident that with six very promising events (three in Ontario, two in Quebec and one in the United States), we will have a show that meets expectations," he adds.

Two weeks after the Nissan Grand Prix, the Nissan Sentra Cup will make its debut on United States soil, on July 19 and 20 for two races at Lime Rock Park, in Connecticut. The always popular Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières (August 9 to 11) will be the third event, followed by a second visit to the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park during the Labour Day weekend in early September, then the final round, which will take place in Ontario, at the Calabogie Motorsports Park, south-west of Ottawa. This site replaces the previously announced Circuit Mont-Tremblant. Calabogie will offer a unique challenge to competitors in the series since this track  has never  hosted a Nissan Sentra Cup race, nor season finale!

Both events held at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières, will be broadcast live on the Nissan Sentra Cup Facebook page. During the first event, the Series' drivers will be on track Friday May 17 for three 30-minute practice sessions. On Saturday, a qualifying session will be presented from 8:40 a.m. and the green flag will be given on the first race of the 2024 season at 1:30 p.m., for 40 minutes of action. On Sunday May 19, the second 40-minute race will take place from 11:25 a.m.

For more information on the Nissan Sentra Cup, visit coupesentra.comOpens in a new tab. and the series' social media channels. To watch the 2023 season events on the web, go to the Nissan Sentra Cup Youtube pageOpens in a new tab..


May 17, 18, 19                     Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Bowmanville, Ontario

July 6 and 7                          Nissan Grand Prix, Complexe ICAR - Mirabel, Quebec

July 19 and 20                      Lime Rock Park, Connecticut (USA)

August 9, 10, 11                   Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières, Quebec

August 30, 31, Sept. 1         Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Bowmanville, Ontario

September 27, 28, 29          Calabogie Motorsports Park, Ontario

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