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
McLaren
 
Eagerly Awaited 'McLaren' Documentary to Make U.S. Premiere in Indianapolis
“McLaren,” the incredible true story of motorsports legend and engineering visionary Bruce McLaren, will make its U.S. premiere in a special screening for motorsports VIPs on the eve of America's most iconic racing weekend.
Read More
Freedom 100
 
Leist Holds Off Telitz, Kellett To Win Freedom 100 in First Career Oval Start
The box score shows Matheus Leist led every lap of the Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but the victory in his first career oval race was anything but a leisurely Friday drive. Leist, from Novo Hamburgo, Brazil, held off Aaron Telitz by .7760 of a second to win the Freedom 100 Indy Lights race Friday afternoon. Dalton Kellett finished third, edged at the Yard of Bricks by Telitz and just .8401 of a second behind Leist.
Read More
Sage Karam
 
Karam Takes Lessons From Wrestling Into Racing
If you’re one of the few who still thinks racers aren’t athletes, you’d be mistaken in that assumption. And Sage Karam would be the best person to change your mind. Karam, 22, uses principles he learned as an accomplished high school wrestler – along with the fitness routine he adopted – in his racing regimen. It’s helped him progress as he approaches his fourth Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. Karam will start 21st in the No. 24 DRR/Mecum Auctions Chevrolet at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Read More
Helio Castroneves
 
Castroneves Bounces Back To Lead Miller Lite Carb Day Practice
Helio Castroneves was one of the unhappiest people inside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway after Pole Day last Sunday, but the usual, ebullient smile returned to the Brazilian’s face after Miller Lite Carb Day practice Friday.
Read More
102nd Indianapolis 500
 
102nd Indy 500 Logo Shows Evolution, Continuity with Styling Cues from Recent Designs
The logo for the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil blends evolution and continuity with styling cues from the popular logos for the 100th and 101st editions of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 2,620
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 IMS Sales Department at (317) 492-8739 or email at hospitalitysales@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
It's Pole day on @CrownRoyal Armed Forces Weekend & we can't wait to see you! Check out details on the day: https://t.co/yKQ6Db3YRK
May 21