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
Chevrolet
 
Chevrolet Details IndyCar Aero Kit Process
With three consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturers’ championships to their credit, Chevrolet has invested a lot of additional resources to ensure it earns Number 4 at by the end of the season.
Read More
Sage Karam
 
Karam to Race in St. Petersburg
Sage Karam, the 2013 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires champion, confirmed that he'll be on the grid for the Verizon IndyCar Series season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in the No. 8 Chip Ganassi Racing GE LED Chevrolet.
Read More
Ryan Hunter-Reay
 
500 Champions Already Have One Eye on New-Look Month of May
Five Verizon IndyCar Series regulars will come to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May looking to add to their champion resumes at the Indianapolis 500.
Read More
2015 Chevrolet IndyCar Aero Kit
 
Chevrolet Unveils Aero Kit for 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Season
Chevrolet is prepared for the next bold step in manufacturer competition with the introduction of aerodynamic bodywork kits to the Verizon IndyCar Series, according to Jim Campbell, GM’s U.S. vice president of performance vehicles and motorsports.
Read More
James Jakes
 
Jakes Returns to IndyCar with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
James Jakes will join James Hinchcliffe for the 16-race season that opens March 27-29 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Jakes, who has made 50 starts in the series, tested last week alongside Hinchcliffe at NOLA Motorsports Park.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 888
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
@LayceAnne we can say awesome!!
about 2 hours ago