We chat with the Edmonton, Alberta native Stefan Rzadzinski – winner of the second event of the inaugural Nissan Micra Cup
Like many professional racecar drivers, Stefan Rzadzinski started out his career in karting at the tender age of eight. Now 22, the Edmontonian can add another milestone to his resume after winning the second event of the inaugural Nissan Micra Cup last weekend at the Grand Prix du Canada on the circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Quebec.
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“It was super special. The Montreal Grand Prix event event is something I’ve watched my entire life, and it’s something I’ve always dreamed about competing in. Being on that podium and winning, and just having the chance to do that, was amazing,” said Rzadzinski.
The win on Sunday came after battling corner after corner and trading the lead with fellow driver Olivier Bédard multiple times throughout the race, who took first place in Saturday’s event.
“It was a tough race, but that’s the beauty of spec racing. It’s as close to go karting as I’ve experienced.”
During the last 14 years, Rzadzinski has been involved in various types of competition including the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series and Indy Lights. The Micra Cup represented the first time he’s partnered with Nissan.
“Looking at Canada, there aren’t many places that you can race where a manufacturer is involved. Nissan is making a huge push into motorsport and they’re doing a lot of cool things. It’s really neat as a driver,” he said.
Rzadzinski was able to find success despite the fact that it was his first time piloting the small hatchback.
It was a tough race, but that’s the beauty of spec racing. It’s as close to go karting as I’ve experienced.
“For being the cheapest MSRP car on the market, it’s really impressive. I was surprised at the grip it had — it did have great Pirelli tires on it — but the car handles really well. The brakes were upgraded, there was a little bit of suspension work, and the rest was essentially safety equipment, like a roll cage. Beyond that it was a totally stock Nissan Micra that anyone can buy at a dealership.”
Thinking back, he admitted there might have been one thing that gave him a slight edge.
“I used to drive a Nissan Versa on the street. Maybe the experience from that translated over a little,” he said, laughing.
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Nissan Micra Cup 2015 Season Schedule:
- May 22-24 Classique de printemps, Circuit Mont-Tremblant
- June 5, 6, 7 Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada
- July 25-26 Classique d’été, Circuit Mont-Tremblant
- July 31-August 2 Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières
- August 15 Circuit St-Eustache
- September 25-27 Classique d’automne, Circuit Mont-Tremblant