Those interested in motor racing are certainly familiar with the Nissan Micra Cup held annually in recent years. Launched in 2015 on the initiative of Quebec auto writer Jacques Deshaies, and of course in collaboration with Nissan, the series has been a great success and has proven to be an excellent marketing vehicle for the company.
"The Micra Cup proved to be an interesting gateway for drivers who wanted to move from karting to more advanced series," said Didier Marsaud, Director of Communications for Nissan Canada.
As well, Nissan was able to shine the spotlight on a model that it wanted to introduce to the demographic of younger drivers in Canada. The rough treatment the Micra received on the track was an ideal to show off its great reliability and durability, and this had a very positive effect on the model’S performance at dealerships.
However, the Micra's journey has come to an end this year in Canada (the last models were produced for the 2019 model-year). Knowing that the adventure was coming to an end, Nissan has been working behind the scenes, to plan for the future of the racing series. Didier Marsaud, Director of Communications for Nissan Canada, explained to us that the choice of the Sentra to succeed the Micra was self-evident: "We wanted to take the series elsewhere, to make it progress. There was no better vehicle to do this than the Sentra, which is faster and a better performer. »
Of course, the fervent wish is that the series to have the same kind of positive impact on the Sentra as it had on the Micra. "The decision to go ahead remains a marketing decision first," adds Didier Marsaud. In fact, Marsaud confirms what we already suspected, which is Nissan’s hope that the series will give the model such high visibility it will lift it back among the top three sellers in the segment in Canada, along with the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.
The Nissan Sentra Cup, to be held at least for the next three years, will feature S versions of the model with manual transmissions, and all the units that will end up on the track will benefit from the same configurations, thus ensuring a high level of competitiveness. The cars will be prepared by the Motorsports in Action team in St. Eustache in Quebec. In addition to its original engine, a 2.0L, 4-cylinder engine offering 149 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque, as well as the 6-speed manual transmission, the race-equipped Sentra will benefit from an improved chassis with upgraded shock absorbers and front brakes, in particular, in addition to Pirelli tires designed for track use.
The calendar for the 2021 season will be published in January, but it’s already known the series will begin at the end of May. Hopefully, by that time, fans will be able to see the cars and drivers up close and personal at the wheel.