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
Indy 500 Snake Pit presented by Coors Light
 
Zedd and Marshmello to Headline Indy 500 Snake Pit Presented by Coors Light
The Indy 500 Snake Pit Presented by Coors Light is proud to announce the official lineup for 2017! EDM superstars ZEDD and MARSHMELLO will headline, along with support by RL GRIME, ACTION BRONSON, ADVENTURE CLUB and THE TRAP HOUSE, in addition to wrestling legend RIC FLAIR as the special emcee. The Snake Pit will take place over Memorial Day Weekend, on Sunday, May 28, during the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race Presented by PennGrade Motor Oil at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Read More
Jimmie Johnson
 
IMS Statement on New NASCAR Format
Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles release the following statement regarding format changes announced by Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series officials this evening:
Read More
Red Bull Air Race Calendar
 
IMS to Host Red Bull Air Race Season Finale
The Racing Capital of the World will crown a new champion in 2017, with the Red Bull Air Race hosting its season finale at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Oct.14-15. Tickets and hangar passes are on sale now at www.ims.com/tickets.
Read More
James Hinchcliffe
 
IndyCar Media Day Features Offseason Tales, Preseason Optimism
Helio Castroneves insists he’s getting younger. Will Power is taking more selfies now that he’s a father. Conor Daly is still rooming with James Hinchcliffe. And Oriol Servia is working out in the same Gold’s Gym as Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Read More
Spencer Pigot
 
Pigot Joins Ed Carpenter Racing Lineup for 2017 Road and Street Courses
Pigot, the 2015 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires champion and winner of more Mazda Road to Indy developmental series races than anyone (24), competed in 10 Verizon IndyCar Series races last season, split between Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Ed Carpenter Racing. He drove in the season’s final seven road/street races for ECR, posting best finishes of seventh at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and ninth at Road America.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 2,412
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
Our deepest condolences to the family & friends of 4-time #Indy500 starter Chuck Weyant. https://t.co/EaLDO4DU7f
about 1 hour ago