The organization of the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières will confirm this morning the participation of Jacques Villeneuve, the son of Gilles, in the NASCAR Pinty's Series, the queen event of the weekend which will be contested on the 7 August.
A week after announcing the presence of Villeneuve, the uncle, it's the turn of the Formula 1 world champion in 1997 to reconnect with the GP3R. Spectators will therefore have the chance to see two members of the famous family race for the price of one!
This will be Villeneuve's fourth start on the Trois-Rivières street circuit in the Series Pinty's and its first since 2014.
For the occasion, the renowned Dumoulin Compétition team will prepare its car for him.
Photo courtesy, Festidrag Développement
Villeneuve will be at the wheel of the Dodge number 07 whose recent course in the GP3R has been noticed. It was with this same car that Raphaël Lessard finished seventh in 2019 and a year earlier Frenchman Frédéric Gabillon finished eighth.
Discussions at Daytona
This return of Villeneuve to the GP3R would not have been possible without the essential contribution of Festidrag Développement and its many partners, including Prolon Controls.
The first discussions with Villeneuve began in Florida in February last as the 51-year-old driver prepared to compete in the Daytona 500 Miles. He became the first Canadian driver to finish in the Top 20 in this annual classic.
Martin D'Anjou (right), president of Festidrag Développement, orchestrated the return of Jacques Villeneuve to the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières.
“Villeneuve was looking for two motorhomes for his stay in Daytona,” said Martin D'Anjou. With my many contacts, I managed to find them and he appreciated my efforts.
“From then on, a beautiful relationship settled in him and me, chained the president of Festidrag. Then, our discussions focused on a possible participation in the GP3R and I quickly noticed that he was very enthusiastic about this idea. In the end, we came to an agreement that will please many fans.
“It is certain that a driver of his reputation has his requirements, particularly financial, but we have reached to a compromise, says D'Anjou. I must mention that it was companies from Quebec, for the most part, who agreed to support the adventure and I am very grateful to them. »
A leading car
A fourth appearance for Jacques Villeneuve in the NASCAR Pinty's Series at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières.
“I also wanted to make sure he was given a top-notch car,” D'Anjou said. With Dumoulin, Villeneuve will be able to express himself at his fair value. Especially since the name Dumoulin is magical in Trois-Rivières. This is their circuit. “The team, based in Yamachiche, will exceptionally have four cars in Mauricie. In addition to Villeneuve, its full-time driver and three-time NASCAR Pinty's Series champion, Louis-Philippe Dumoulin, will obviously be there, as will his brother Jean-François, whose only presence this year will be.
The quartet will be completed by Louis-Philippe Montour, who will be competing in road circuit events in 2022.
Private testing at Mirabel
Retained in Europe, Villeneuve will not be on site in Trois-Rivières for the press briefing this morning. However, he will answer journalists' questions via videoconference.
He will arrive in Quebec on August 2 at the end of the afternoon and the next morning, he will participate in a private test session at the ICAR circuit in Mirabel, to which is also invited the rookie Jean-Philippe Bergeron, this young promising driver associated with Prolon Controls, which will be racing for the first time in Trois-Rivières next month.
Villeneuve's return to Trois-Rivières comes 30 years after its very first race in Mauricie . In 1992, he took third place on the Formula Atlantic podium.
A year later, he was forced to retire following an accident with his teammate (Player's team) Claude Bourbonnais. From memory, this is the last time that the two Jacques faced each other at the GP3R. His uncle was second in this Formula Atlantic race.
The last presence of Jacques, the son de Gilles, at the GP3R dates back to the 2018 World Rallycross Championship where he was unable to participate in the grand final, as in 2014 by the way.
In three participations in the NASCAR Series Pinty's in Trois-Rivières, Villeneuve recorded his best result in 2013 when he finished in third place. His uncle will take part in the two events in the Modified Legends category, he who will reconnect with the GP3R after a seven-year absence.
Another Festidrag Development partner is involved in the GP3R: the NASCAR Pinty's Series, presented on Sunday, will henceforth be referred to as the “60 laps Rousseau Métal”.