Villeneuve to return to Indianapolis 500
Former Indycar and Formula One champion Jacques Villeneuve will compete in the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 in a car prepared by Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
Villeneuve’s entry in the 2014 Indianapolis 500 marks the 20th anniversary of his first start in 1994, in which the French-Canadian driver finished second and claimed Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year honors. Villeneuve, 42, won the race and the CART season championship the following year.
To have the opportunity to return to Indy car racing and the Indianapolis 500 is something I never thought possible. – Villeneuve said – The memories I have there will stay with me for the rest of my life, and I’m excited to create new memories in 2014.
Following his CART championship, Villeneuve jumped to Formula One in 1996, winning 11 of his first 34 grand prix and the Drivers’ World Championship for Williams in 1997. He remained a Formula One regular with BAR, Renault and Sauber before switching to NASCAR in 2007.
Villeneuve has competed in selected Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series events as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He is one of two drivers to compete in IndyCar, NASCAR Sprint Cup and Formula One cars at Indianapolis. The other is 2000 Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya, who is returning to the IndyCar Series in 2014 as a full-time driver with Team Penske.
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, led by team principal Sam Schmidt and businessman Ric Peterson, is entering its third year of competition in the IndyCar Series. We’re very pleased to have a driver of the caliber of Jacques in our lineup in May. – Schmidt said – He’s a former winner in the event and brings tremendous experience from his success in the world’s top racing series. The trust Jacques is putting in Schmidt Peterson Motorsports also validates the progress all of our team members have made in creating an organization capable of competing with anyone.