News & Multimedia

Villeneuve Joins Indy 500 Lineup

Memories of competing in the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race "will stay with me for the rest of my life," Jacques Villeneuve says. In May, the French Canadian driver says he's "excited to create new memories."

Two decades after earning Rookie of the Year honors with a runner-up finish and 19 years removed from his scintillating victory, Villeneuve will return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to compete in the 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 25 in a Honda-powered car prepared by Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.

Team co-owners Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson made the announcement at the Indianapolis race shop, with Villeneuve joining via satellite from Andorra.

“To have the opportunity to return to Indy car racing and the Indianapolis 500 is something I never thought possible,” said Villeneuve, 42, whose Indianapolis 500 victory was among four that season en route to the CART championship. “I’ve been fortunate enough to compete in several of the world’s top racing series, and nothing excites me more than entering the IndyCar Series at its current level of competitiveness. Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has proven itself able to compete with the largest of teams, and I am excited to get to work with Sam and the team and start preparing for May.”

Opening Day at the 2.5-mile oval is May 11 -- less than 24 hours after the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the reconfigured IMS road course. Qualifications are scheduled for May 17-18.

Following his CART championship, Villeneuve found continued success in Formula One. He won 11 of his 34 races and earned the World Championship for Williams in 1997. He remained a Formula One regular with BAR, Renault and Sauber before returning to North America in 2007 to compete in stock cars. He and Juan Pablo Montoya, the 2000 Indianapolis 500 winner who will contest the full IndyCar Series season for Team Penske, are the only drivers to compete in IndyCar, NASCAR Sprint Cup and Formula One cars at Indianapolis. Villeneuve last competed at the Speedway in the 2010 Brickyard 400.

Villeneuve, Mario Andretti and Emerson Fittipaldi are the only drivers to win the Indianapolis 500, the CART championship and the F1 drivers title.

Simon Pagenaud, who placed third in the 2013 IndyCar Series championship, and rookie Mikhail Aleshin are the full-time drivers for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.

“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.”

Villeneuve, who started in the middle of the second row in the Team Green car, was two laps down midway through the 200-lap race because of a penalty incurred for passing the pace car twice under caution. He closed strong and won by 2.481 seconds. The race also was memorable to Peterson.

“Having grown up in Canada, the name Villeneuve is synonymous with winning," he said. "I was there in person and Jacques being the only Canadian to win that huge event, it gave me a huge sense of national pride. It is an honor to have the opportunity to be involved in bringing Jacques back to the ‘500,’ and we look forward to a fantastic result.”
 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Villeneuve Joins Indy 500 Lineup
 
Villeneuve Joins Indy 500 Lineup
Two decades after earning Rookie of the Year honors with a runner-up finish and 19 years removed from his scintillating victory, Villeneuve will return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to compete in the 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 25 in a Honda-powered car prepared by Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
Read More
Related Media
James Hinchcliffe Drives a Vintage Porsche
 
Hinchcliffe Tests Legendary Sports Cars at IMS
The three-time Verizon IndyCar Series race winner was tasked by R&T to test drive a Porsche 962, one of the most legendary sports cars on the planet, alongside Porsche’s new 918, at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway for an upcoming issue.
Read More
Juan Montoya
 
Montoya Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month
Montoya, 39, who grew up in Bogota, Colombia, equates his outlook on life to his proud heritage. Through Oct. 15, Americans are observing National Hispanic Heritage Month by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of residents whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
Read More
James Hinchcliffe
 
Hinchcliffe Joins Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for 2015
The three-time Verizon IndyCar Series race winner has signed a multi-year contract with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports to drive the team's No. 77 entry, beginning with the 2015 race season.
Read More
Borg-Warner Trophy
 
New IMS Website Debuts
Fans of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will find a new online experience at the redesigned IMS.com.
Read More
'500' Champion Hunter-Reay to Compete in Race of Champions
 
'500' Champion Hunter-Reay to Compete in Race of Champions
Indianapolis 500 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay will represent the Verizon IndyCar Series in the annual Race of Champions, slated to take place at the Bushy Park Circuit in Barbados on December 13-14.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 855
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Phil Sparks at (317) 492-6463 or email at psparks@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
RT @FollowAndretti: Reliving the final six laps of this year's #Indy500 with our @DHLAmericas friends. We've got goosebumps (again)! http:/…
about 55 minutes ago