It’s the second season for the Nissan Micra Cup and although the appeal may be limited to a small number of hardcore racing enthusiasts there is more to this story than just the racing.
The Nissan Micra is one of the least expensive vehicles available for purchase in Canada, after all. Some days the Chevrolet Spark is less costly and other days it is the Micra as a price war of dollar bills ensues. But either way a base Nissan Micra can be had for $9,988 before taxes and fees and it’s not a bad car at all.
The racing series allows Nissan to promote the Micra as both a fun car to drive and a reliable and safe one at that. This year certainly has proven that Nissan makes a safe vehicle. The season-opening Micra Cup crashfest at Calabogie resulted in drivers walking away from completely trashed cars without a scratch.
But not only is the Micra safe, it is reliable. Talking to most teams at the first Quebec race of 2016 at Saint-Eustache (just north of Montreal), reliability for the most part has not been a concern with the Micra. When compared to other race cars running as many races as the teams have with their cars now in the second season, the Micra has proven more reliable.
That’s a completely stock engine and transmission, and 20 of them are on their second season with no major rebuild.
All Micra Cup cars are built by MIA (Motorsports in Action) located at the track at Saint-Eustache which proves right there that they are dedicated to track performance not street show.
A custom cage is bolted and welded into the Micra to ensure that the driver stays safe in case of an accident or rollover (and roll over they do), OMP belts, seat and steering wheel are also installed and the door panels are gutted and covered over with plastic. The cars weigh in at a reasonable 1,050 kg with the driver and fuel on board.
Also installed is an AIM MXL dash that provides data-logging, lap times, oil / water temperatures, RPM, shift lights and more – when you step into the Micra Cup car, you feel like you are in a real race car.
For their second season the Micra Cup series is making three stops in Ontario. The first stop was at Calabogie Motorsports Park near Ottawa in late May, a stop at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (formerly known as Mosport) in July with a second visit to the same location in September. The remaining races are in the Quebec region at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant, Saint-Eustache and Trois-Rivières.
See the videos: Massive Crash Mars Micra Cup Opener in Ontario
Nissan graciously offered me a second chance to redeem myself in their car in a very competitive field of cars by offering me a day in the car with two races at Saint-Eustache on June 19th. When I participated last year I didn’t know what to expect and was surprised by the driving level of the competition, resulting in a poor performance where I ended up near the back of the pack for the most part.