TORONTO | The presentation of a commemorative plaque to mark his long career at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières would not have been enough to make move Jacques Villeneuve.
His presence was conditional on his wish to race on a circuit where he thrilled the public and the… walls, for four decades.
Thus, 46 years later, after having completed his first laps on the urban route of the Mauricie in the “Volant québécois”, spectators will see the veteran driver from Saint-Cuthbert again aboard a racing car from 5 to August 7, as announced by Le Journal earlier this week.
“The general manager of the GP3R, Dominic Fugère, contacted me recently to offer me a , explained Villeneuve in a telephone interview. That's nice of him, but that's not what I'm looking for. For me, honors are not my cup of tea. »
One thing leading to another, Villeneuve was finally offered to participate in a car in the Modified Legends category, a series integrated into the program this year after being in demonstration last year.
< p> “Me, I still feel like running, not sitting in a grandstand and watching the others spin on the track, added Villeneuve. I have always said that, as long as my health allows it, I will continue to do this job, which is my livelihood.
“It's not complicated, I like it to weigh on the… pacifier. Once I'm in the mess, I put on my helmet and my suit, all I think about is riding as fast as possible. »
At 68, his passion for racing is intact. He's a Villeneuve.
Green light from the doctor
Gilles' brother will be going to Trois-Rivières this morning for an evaluation medical required to participate in the Grand Prix.
It doesn't matter if your name is Villeneuve, all drivers must get the green light from a doctor before hitting the track.
Which would only be a formality, according to the principal concerned. Marie-Claire Carroll, deputy chief medical officer at the GP3R, will carry out the examination and will, we hope, issue the precious certificate.
A few minutes later, he will meet the media at a press conference scheduled for 10:30 a.m.
Seven years later
Villeneuve's last appearance at the GP3R dates back to 2015, when he took part in two events in Formula 1600.
The following year, he put an end to a turbulent career in snowmobiling, where numerous accidents, sometimes severe, finally prompted him to give up facing the icy surfaces at breakneck speeds.
Unlike snowmobiling, modified Legends cars provide a much greater sense of safety.
“The danger is perhaps less present, says Villeneuve , but it's still there. It's still likely to hit, but probably not as hard. »