October 25, 2021

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“I want to go back to Le Mans” | The Journal of Montreal

"I want to go back to Le Mans" |  The Journal of Montreal

On the same date last year, Jacques Villeneuve said he was eager to celebrate his 50thE Birthday. Today is April 9, 2021.

Also read: Villeneuve: “The pressure is on Verstappen”

“My opinion has not changed,” he said in a liberal telephone interview granted Thursday Journal. I don’t feel old. “

One thing is for sure, the word retirement is not in his vocabulary. In contrast, he is set to play his third full-time season in the Euro NASCAR stock car series. The season kicks off on May 15 in Valencia, Spain.

This championship is a European replica of the NASCAR Cup in the United States. About thirty pilots will participate. Apart from a few podium performances in 2019 and 2020, his first success is still pending.

“I came very close to winning last year, but it’s only a postponement. I do not see the day when I will hang my helmet. He reminds us. Running is my life and I will do my best.”

Villeneuve admits that despite his successful 50 years, he still has more goals.

“If given another chance, I would love to go back to Le Mans,” he said. I have not had any negotiations this year, but the door has not been closed. I’m still young. “

Villeneuve was one of two participants in the 24 Hours Le Mans, the most famous endurance race on the planet. In his second and final appearance, he finished second in 2008.

Dad’s dream

Villeneuve’s story of successfully ascending the motor racing ranks, realizing the unfulfilled dream of his father Gilles, who died tragically on the Zolder Circuit in Belgium on May 8, 1982.

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Not only is his name on the shortlist of 33 drivers who have been crowned F1 World Champions since 1950, but in 1995 he had a memorable victory at the prestigious Indianapolis 500 Mile Classic.

Two successes that other representatives of the maple leaf have not yet achieved. When you win the F1 title as he did in 1997, it was for life. Villeneuve is a … not a former world champion.

Bursting entrance

Appointed by Frank Williams in 1996, Villeneuve made his F1 debut at his first Grand Prix in Melbourne, Australia. In this regard, he had only five other drivers before him in the major disciplinary history of motorsports, and Villeneuve did so for the last time.

As the victory seemed certain to him, the oil leak forced his teammate Damon Hill to reduce control over the race.

At the end of a year marked by Williams’ team dominance, Britain was crowned World Champion. Next year Villeneuve will follow in his footsteps.

“I’m more proud today,” he said, “about my success. I realized more than ever that motor racing was good for me. But at the time, I was completely unaware of people recognizing me.”

This magical evening on the forum, a few days after winning the championship, presented him to the spectators before the Canadian match, which made him uncomfortable.

“My regret is not realizing that he does not like me now,” he replied. These are unforgettable events in my life. Today, I want to thank them so much. “