Villeneuve Signs Up For Two More V8 Supercars Rounds

Jacques Villenueve in the Pepsi Max Crew Holden Commodore Photo credit: Pepsi Max Crew

Jacques Villeneuve will continue to race in the V8 Supercars Championship series for the upcoming Ipswich and Sydney Motorsport Park events.

Kelly Racing has confirmed that the former Formula 1 world champion, who made his first appearance in a single-driver V8 Supercars race at the Sucrogen Townsville 400 earlier this month, will remain behind the wheel of the Pepsi Max Crew Holden Commodore for the Coates Hire Ipswich 300 and the Sydney Motorsport Park 360.

Villeneuve, who is driving in place of Greg Murphy while the New Zealander continues to recover from major back surgery, hopes to improve on his first showing, where he recorded a DNF and a 24th in the two races.

“I am thankful to Pepsi Max Crew for another chance to jump in the car and with more seat time should make further inroads on the field,” said Villeneuve.

“These are difficult cars to drive and there is terrific talent in this category so I was realistic about my chances in Townsville not even testing the car.

“On reflection I was pleased with the progress we made as a team through that weekend and comfortable with the knowledge that we can move forward in Ipswich and Sydney.”

Kelly Racing director and driver Todd Kelly said he was in no doubt that the Canadian will improve the more time he spends in the seat.

“It is great news for the Pepsi Max Crew and V8 Supercars that Jacques is coming back to race in Australia for the next two events.

“Jacques is an absolute professional and will add a lot of value to the team, especially as he secures further seat time over the next couple of rounds.

“Jumping in the car at Townsville without testing or for that matter even sitting in the car is a daunting task, but he took it all in his stride and was pleased with his efforts and have absolutely no doubt he will quickly move through the field in future events.”

The Ipswich 300 will be held from 3 – 5 August and the Sydney Motorsport Park 360 from 25 – 26 August.

  • Vince Pettit

    I know he had no testing but would have thought his results at Townsville would have been a little better. I’m surprised that he’ll be out there again, do we know if it’s his own money or Pepsi money?

  • He was recruited as a replacement driver by Kelly Racing for Greg Murphy who’s sidelined with a back injury. As the only driver out there not a full-time member of the series and with no testing in advance he was never expected to do all that well. He also had to contend with learning the track, the car and using his left hand to shift gears. These are not easy beasts to tame! Given the circumstances, I think he did as well as he could. And afterwards, he described it as the hardest thing he’s done in his racing career which I think shows what he was up against, but also the high calibre of the series and the drivers (who are some of the best in the world, but don’t get the recognition they deserve over here).
    Personally, I would’ve expected the team to use a driver more used to the car and with experience of the series or at least the development series, but I think Kelly Racing are now purely focused on next year, with maybe the exception of Bathurst, so why not put him in there again? Some have called it a PR stunt and to some extent it is, but he’s also said before now that he’d like to compete in the series full time after racing in the Gold Coast 600 in 2010. It’s a huge compliment for V8 Supercars that someone as prominent as Villeneuve wants to drive in the series. It is the best Touring Car series in the world after all!