Desperate for work, Villeneuve to race in Argentina The Race of the Year in Buenos Aires, the eighth event for the Top Race Super 2008, will have a special guest racing car driver: Jacques Villeneuve, 1995 Champ Car Champion, and 1997 Formula 1 Champion. Villeneuve will race with a Passat TRV6 at the "Juan y Oscar Gálvez" racetrack, located in Buenos Aires. His co-driver Emiliano Spataro, is considered the Series’ King.
The famous Canadian driver accepted with pleasure the challenge to compete in Argentina in a close Series like the Top Race. Thus, this will be the first time in history that a foreign former Formula 1 Champion officially race in an Argentinean Series.
“I accepted the invitation to race the Top Race because of different reasons. The most significant one is that I wanted to get back to Argentina. I love Buenos Aires because when I was in Argentina I was treated really good and left many friends. Having the month off and racing with these cars have also influenced on my decision making process. Despite being different cars, compared to the NASCAR ones, this is a good opportunity for me to keep active and trained,” said Villeneuve, who will be the main star during the Top Race’s “Race of the Year.”
Villeneuve, 1995 Champ Car Champion, 1997 Formula1 Champion, arrived to Argentina this week. “I am coming here to have fun. I would like to have fun and amused people. I know that I will have a good car, a good team; and I think as a racing car driver. So once I get into the car I would like to be on the top positions, and at the end, I would like to win the race. I will have the chance to test before the race and this is good, because although I have raced in Formula 1, I do have to learn a lot from the car drivers who usually compete in this Series. Hopefully, my co-driver will be open-minded and will make things easier,” added Villeneuve.
Top Race is one of the Argentina’s newest Series, and with a simple proposal –racing cars with identical engines developed by Oreste Berta, and raced by the best drivers around. The main class presents 44 cars per race, and the minor Series showcase more than 33 racing cars per event.
Among the names racing on the Series, there is a group of well-known drivers such as former Formula 1 racers Norberto Fontana y Gaston Mazzacane; former World Motorcycling runner-up, Sebastian Porto, and other great Argentinean drivers like Marcos Di Palma, Emiliano Spataro, Matías Rossi, Juan Cruz Alvarez, Ricardo Risatti, Christian Ledesma, Omar Martínez, Juan Manuel Silva and Gabriel Ponce de Le¢n, among others.
During this special competition there will be other surprises, such as Japanese racing car drive Hiroki Yoshimoto –who will travel to Argentina from Japan just because of the race; the impressive first time NASCAR car presentation in Argentina, and a great show performed by two Brazilian dragsters of Velopark.
Jacques, son of the remembered Gilles Villeneuve –who died in 1982 during the qualifying round for the F1 Belgian Grand Prix, started racing with the Italian F3 (1989-1991.) In 1992, he took part in the Japanese F3, getting three victories and second place in the championship. One year later, he went on to racing to North American Formula Atlantic Championship, winning five races. By 1994 he started racing at the Champ Car World Series, winning the 1995 Championship. He also won the Indy 500 during his time in the United States.
After finding success in all of those Series, Villeneuve arrived in the Williams Formula 1 Team, winning the 1997 Championship. He raced 163 F1 events with five different teams -Williams, BAR, Renault, Sauber, and BMW Sauber. He got 11 victories, 13 pole positions and 23 podiums. He retired from F1 during 2006. The following year, Villeneuve embarked on a new adventure, racing the last three eventos of the North American NASCAR season. During 2008, he repeated the experience in the United States, he also took part on the Le Mans 24 hours race.
Jacques Villeneuve is a celebrity inside and outside the track. He is not just an accomplished racing driver but also a musician. In fact, his CD and songs are available on the internet. He also enjoys sports such as sky and tennis. His charisma and appeal have given him a great worldwide reputation. September 26th, 27th and 28th, Villeneuve and Spataro will make history when they race the Passat TRV6 at the "Juan y Oscar Gálvez" racetrack.