Nissan Leaf Nismo RC to Be Pace Car for Select Nissan Micra Cup Races
See it in action in Ontario and Quebec this summer.
The Nissan Leaf Nismo RC was brought to Toronto to be displayed at the Canadian International AutoShow, but it turns out that it will be staying for a lot longer than originally planned.
Nissan Canada announced today that the Leaf Nismo RC will be used as the pace car for the Nissan Micra Cup at select Canadian racetracks this summer, leading the field to the green flag at the start of races and intervening as a safety car in the event of yellow flags.
Three events of the six on the 2019 calendar have been confirmed for the Leaf Nismo RC: the season opener over Victoria Day weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Clarington, Ont., from May 17 to 19; the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières in Trois-Rivières, Que., on August 9 to 11; and again at CTMP for the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series weekend from August 23 to 25.
When it’s not being used on track, the all-electric race car will be on display to be viewed up close in the Nissan Micra Cup paddock.
“We’re now entering our fifth year of Micra Cup,” says Michael Carcamo, global head of motorsport for Nissan, “and we’ve been massively impressed by it. An upgraded Leaf (as a pace car) would be one thing, but I think the Leaf Nismo RC, and as a demonstrator with two seats and being able to use it, it’s going to be exciting.”
A look at a spec comparison is enlightening. The Nissan Micra Cup car, which is Canada’s most affordable race car at roughly $20,000, uses the production Micra’s stock 1.6-litre, four-cylinder gas-powered engine, good for 109 hp and 107 lb.-ft. of torque. The Leaf Nismo RC, on the other hand, is built from a 60 kWh battery and inverters from the current production Leaf and a pair of 120 kW electric motors that produce a combined 322 hp and 472 lb.-ft. of torque that’s fully available as soon as you mash the pedal.
Carcamo says the dichotomy of putting the development work of a Leaf Nismo RC in front of a field full of Nissan Micra Cup cars, the latter being stock Nissan Micras with minor modifications and Nismo suspension upgrades, demonstrates the breadth of development that can go into modern-day race cars.
“Unlike the Micra Cup, (the Leaf Nismo RC) was a great opportunity for Nismo to work on chassis development and structure development,” he says. “Where on the Micra Cup they were only able to work on tuning components and safety components, here the entire suspension, geometry, layout was all done by Nismo.”
The Leaf Nismo RC is on display for the first time at a public auto show at the Canadian International AutoShow, being held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre starting this Friday, February 15, until Sunday, February 24.
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