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
Townsend Bell
 
Back in his 'Second Home,' Bell a Legitimate Contender as a One-Off Indy Specialist
His No. 29 California Pizza Kitchen/Robert Graham Honda qualified fourth, which equals his best previous starting position (2011) in nine Indy 500 starts. His best finish was also fourth in 2009 for KV Racing Technology.
Read More
Panasonic Pagoda
 
Historic Sellout Marks 100th Running of the Indy 500 Local TV Delay Suspended for 2016
Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials announced the first sellout in the history of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race today. All suites, reserved seating and infield General Admission tickets for the 100th Running of the Indy 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil are sold out.
Read More
Stefan Wilson
 
Rookie Wilson Racing for Much More Than Just himself at 100th Running
When Stefan Wilson’s No. 25 Driven2SaveLives KV Racing Technology Chevrolet starts Sunday’s 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, he will shift his attention to the challenge ahead.
Read More
Herff Jones
 
5 Days until the 100th Indy 500: Champion of Champions Fan Rings
An Indianapolis tradition unlike any other. And no, we’re not talking about eating at St. Elmo’s Steakhouse. Tickets for the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil are selling fast, and Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials are projecting the first sellout of the event in two decades. Attending the Indy 500 is a rite of passage, and whether you experience it from the stands or the Snake Pit, you’ll want to remember this race. Luckily, your reminder can be right on your finger. For the first time ever, Indy 500 fans can purchase their very own Champion of Champions replica ring in honor of the 100th Running.
Read More
Florence Henderson
 
Florence Henderson to Serve as Grand Marshal for 100th Running
Florence Henderson, a beloved part of Indianapolis 500 Race Day for a quarter-century, will serve as the Grand Marshal of the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 1,162
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 Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
Bates, "I want to recognize the public safety officials that have helped us from @SpeedwayPD, @IMPD_News, @SPEEDWAYFIRE and @FBIIndianapolis
about 4 minutes ago