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Jacques Villeneuve en coupe Nextel dès 2008

 

Le pilote québécois Jacques Villeneuve ferait son entrée en coupe Nextel de la série NASCAR dès 2008. C’est du moins ce que rapporte Le Journal de Montréal dans son édition de samedi.

 

Villeneuve doit faire des essais dans un camion de l'écurie Bill Davis Racing de la série Craftsman, lundi et mardi. Mais Davis aurait déjà annoncé au paddock que Villeneuve conduirait l'une de ses Toyota Camry en série Nextel en 2008.

 

Davis aurait même annoncé que Jacques Villeneuve disputerait les sept dernières courses au calendrier de la série Craftsman, en plus de disputer les deux dernières courses de la saison en coupe Nextel.

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Jacques Villeneuve's Craftsman Truck test on Monday will be stepping stone into Nextel Cup racing, according to NASCAR owner Bill Davis.

 

Davis is the man who plans to test and race the former F1 champion in one of his trucks this year with a goal to be on the starting grid at Daytona in 2008.

 

"He'll be testing the next two, three weeks and his first truck race will be at Las Vegas in about three or four weeks," Davis tells autosport.com. "And then he runs seven truck races, one ARCA race at Talladega for sure. He'll do quite a bit of Car of Tomorrow testing and we might possibly run a Cup race (this year), but that just remains to be seen."

 

ESPN.com quotes Davis as saying Villeneuve will be one of his Cup drivers in 2008. Veteran crew chief Slugger Labbe will be the one leading Villeneuve's team.

 

Villeneuve has no real experience in stock car racing and he hasn't raced competitively since leaving BMW-Sauber last year. Still, Davis sees some similarities between the former F1 and CART champion and fellow F1-turned-NASCAR driver Juan Montoya.

 

 

 

"I don't see any reason why we can't deliver the same typo of equipment to JV that Montoya has had available to him," Davis tells autosport.com.

 

"I mean, it's a pretty big deal for a guy that has won the CART championship, won the Indy 500, won 11 Formula One races and the World Championship to come NASCAR racing. He's had the advantage of watching Montoya for a year and I think he will be accepted and embraced by NASCAR and the fans, I really do."

 

Montoya, who made the jump from Formula One to Nextel Cup racing this year with Chip Ganassi Racing, has some advice for his former rival.

 

"Just be patient," Montoya tells SpeedTV.com. "You've got to be patient. There's going to be weeks where you're going to run bad and you've got to learn that that's all you can do."

 

"He's a little bit like me," Montoya explained. "You know, he likes racing and he's an aggressive guy and I think he'll like it. I'm sure he will like it."

 

Davis admits Villeneuve will in for a shock when he takes to the track in Chicago for a Craftsman Truck test next week.

 

"Obviously it'll be a huge learning curve for him. These cars and trucks certainly don't compare to what he's competed in as far as sophistication and the telemetry and all that's available but a great race car driver is a great race car driver and we've seen that with drivers in this garage that are able to go back and forth through different echelons of racing and be successful. A race car is a race car."

 

BDR Racing is currently leading the Craftsman Truck Series standings and Mike Skinner, who leads the drivers championship, will be on hand to coach Villeneuve.

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"Ça va vite"

- Jacques Villeneuve

Lundi 27 août 2007

RDS.ca

 

Jacques Villeneuve a participé, ce matin, à ses premiers essais en NASCAR avec l'écurie Bill Davis Racing. Douze ans après sa dernière course sur une piste ovale et un an après son départ de la Formule 1, Villeneuve s'est amusé au volant de sa camionnette Toyota Tundra.

 

"Même si ce sont de grosses voitures, ça va vite. La piste est très relevée et il faut quelques tours pour s'y habituer", a déclaré Villeneuve.

 

Jacques Villeneuve s’est rapidement fait apprécier par son chef d’équipe en raison de la précision de ses impressions, mais aussi en raison de ses résultats. À son 28e tour, il n’était qu’à quatre dixièmes de seconde de l’actuel meneur au classement, Mike Skinner.

 

"Ça se passe bien, mais ce sont les derniers dixièmes qui sont les plus difficiles à retrancher. On fait beaucoup de travail de réglage sur la voiture car l’équipe veut voir comment je travaille. L’équipe veut aussi me donner des habitudes. Exemple: que surviendra-t-il si on change certaines choses à la voiture? Tout cela a pour but de bien me préparer si je participe à une course."

 

 

Le passage de Villeneuve en série Craftsman n’est que temporaire. Le propriétaire de l’équipe, Bill Davis, a affirmé que le Québécois sera en Coupe Nextel l’an prochain. Toutefois, le gérant de Villeneuve, Craig Pollock, a nuancé cette information.

 

"Honnêtement, il n’y a pas encore de contrat signé. Je sais bien que Bill Davis aimerait bien que l’entente soit déjà signée pour l’année prochaine, mais je ne croyais pas que la chose était nécessaire avant de procéder à ces essais », a expliqué Pollock.

 

Contrat ou pas, on verra assurément Villeneuve en Coupe Nextel. Qui sait, on le verra peut-être se battre en piste avec Patrick Carpentier.

 

"C’est plaisant. Patrick a fait un bon résultat à Montréal, il s’est bien débrouillé. Maintenant, ce qu’il faut c’est l’expérience sur ovale. Car tant qu’on ne roule pas sur ovale, on ne peut pas rouler en NASCAR, c’est simple."

 

L’annonce du retour de Jacques Villeneuve au volant d’une camionnette a provoqué bien des sarcasmes. Mais quand on sait qu’il y a bien peu de différence entre ces voitures de course et celle de la Coupe Nextel, mis à part l’apparence, on peut croire que Villeneuve a bien choisi sa porte d’entrée dans le monde du NASCAR.

 

Le célèbre numéro 27

 

Lors de ses premiers essais, le camion de Jacques Villeneuve arborait le numéro 27.

 

C'est un numéro symbolique au Québec puisque son père Gilles portait ce numéro à ses années en F1.

 

Jacques assure cependant que c'est par pur hasard qu'il s'est retrouvé avec le camion numéro 27.

 

« Je pense que c'est un numéro qui appartient à Bill Davis Racing. Ça tombe bien parce que j'ai gagné les 500 milles d'Indianapolis avec le numéro 27. C'était le numéro de Gilles, alors ça fait plaisir à un paquet de monde, », admet Villeneuve.

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Jacques est très bon pilote, mais malheureusement il a pas toujours pris de bonnes décisions..son erreure monumentale a été d'aller avec BAR...il a eu l'air d'un bozo à force de se plaindre et de ne pouvoir finir une course (voiture de merde)

 

pour ce qui est de NEXTEL, je m'attend pas a des résultats extraordinaire dès le début.... une course de NEXTEL ça se gère différemment d'une course de CART ou de F1, mais il a beaucoup de talent...et avec une bonne auto et son caractère de cochon il pourrait avoir de l'avenir

 

voici un vidéo où on voit au début un gros accident(le premier) où on voit l'auto de Jacques Villeneuve se faufiller entre les autos (l'auto blanche)..c'est vraiment fou : http://youtube.com/watch?v=aEryDlvKvTU

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  • 1 month later...

1486320958_ea423d5dcb_o.jpg

 

UNICEF backs Villeneuve on Cup debut Villeneuve partners with UNICEF for NASCAR Nextel Cup debut Jacques Villeneuve’s NASCAR career moves to a new high this weekend, as he makes his Nextel Cup debut at the famous Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. His Toyota Camry, car number 27, will carry the iconic blue branding of UNICEF, the globally-active, United Nations-founded children’s charity.

 

One of the fastest circuits on the NASCAR calendar, Villeneuve has tested several times at Talladega in recent weeks, including a highly-successful ‘bump draft’ session. Alongside his ‘Cup’ debut, the 36-year-old Canadian, the first F1 World Champion to move to NASCAR, will contest Saturday’s Craftsman Truck race in his Bill Davis Racing Toyota Tundra. As with his ‘Cup’ car, UNICEF will be the strongest brand message on his race truck.

 

On a flying visit to his team’s workshops in High Point, North Carolina, en-route to Talladega, Villeneuve was clearly upbeat, relishing the various challenges that the weekend presents him with.

 

In addition to managing the different characteristics of the truck and the car, as a series rookie, Villeneuve will again be required to qualify both vehicles, and assuming that everything goes to plan, this will be his first time to race two different classes at a single event.

 

The media attention surrounding Villeneuve’s arrival in NASCAR has been intense, and the demand for interviews and photographs will again add to his demanding schedule in Talladega. Perhaps the greatest challenge of all however will be the need to maximize his own opportunity, to lap as fast as he can, and race as close to the front of the field as possible – he is a proven Champion after all - at the same time remaining mindful that he has no desire to negatively impact upon those twelve drivers fighting out the Chase for the Cup.

 

Speaking as he boarded a Bill Davis Racing plane with his race crew, Villeneuve commented, “The decision to race Cup at Talladega was made in the middle of last week, as soon as we knew that NASCAR had approved me to do so. It’s earlier than originally scheduled, but I like the track, and we’ve proven that we know how to lap quickly there, so now, is the right time for me to focus on developing my experience ahead of 2008. It’s a long time since I’ve had such a big weekend.” Almost exactly ten years ago, Jacques Villeneuve created ‘Formula Charity’, based in Switzerland, to aid a number of children’s charities across Europe. Whilst that program will continue, as an athlete with a real desire to help children wherever, and however possible, the chance to promote UNICEF is a dream opportunity.

 

When asked about his partnership with UNICEF, the NASCAR debutant explained, “This Cup race is an addition to the test and race schedule that we’d committed to, so we had the chance to do something different with the car. I have a desire to see children all over the world safe, healthy and happy and that is UNICEF’s sole focus. UNICEF has developed a clever initiative in support of this NASCAR program, something that they’ve decided to call ‘Going the extra mile’ which I hope will offer the children that they offer assistance to, some real benefit.” Speaking on behalf of UNICEF, Nigel Fisher, President and CEO of UNICEF Canada stated, “This is very exciting for UNICEF Canada. We are extremely grateful to have a Canadian icon like Jacques Villeneuve demonstrate such phenomenal support for UNICEF in this way. Millions of eyes will be on his car this weekend, and that means millions of eyes will be on UNICEF and our work for children.”

 

from autoracing1.com

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it was a one off thing, only for Talladega, also it was unicef Canada and Usa sponsoring so they shared the bill, and i wouldnt be surprised if they didnt paid the full price for a race, most of the bill has probably been picked up by Villeneuve himself just like he did for his previous craftsman truck race

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