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04 Nov 2014

WRX: Quo Vadis, Villeneuve?

Category: News, WRX Posted 04.11.14 15:00 by

According to Canadian press members ex-F1 driver Jacques Villeneuve has claimed in recent interviews that he doesn’t want to return to Rallycross in 2015.

 

Canadian media members met Jacques Villeneuve in the paddock of the Circuit of the Americas at Austin in Texas. The Franco-Canadian, who works as an analyst for the French TV Canal+ as well as for Sky Sports in Italy, told them that he draws a mixed record after his first season in the FIA World Rallycross Championship with the team Albatec Racing. “Disappointing. The cars are really fun to drive. However, I did not like the rules, or how the series is supported by its organisers. It was all too risky, especially when you end up with half of the competitors not doing the whole of the championship. Many just come there to race in a bit of kamikaze style. But the level of the regulars is really great,” the 1997 F1 World Champion has been quoted.

 

While Petter Solberg (left) scored 250 WRX points so far Jacques Villeneuve (right) bagged just 7. © JKR/ERC24

While Petter Solberg (left) scored 250 WRX points so far Jacques Villeneuve (right) bagged just 7. © JKR/ERC24

 

Villeneuve: “The few times that the car did not break I was competitive. Unfortunately, I had too many problems – and I think it’s just the difference of being in an official team or in another private squad.” Question: “During the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières you even lost the gas tank of your Peugeot 208 SuperCar?” Answer: “Yes, and it was in full speed on the straight line. If you make a bad jump and you break the suspension, it might be your own fault. But most of the times this season there was a series of mechanical failures like the fuel tank case. Trouble with camshafts, suspension, differentials, etc. It was always things like that. It’s a shame, because it’s a great series. Very good television coverage and the fans love it, it’s super exciting. But for me it did not go as I wanted to.”

 

Three FIA World titles: 1997 F1 champion Villeneuve, 2003 WRC and 2014 WRX winner Petter Solberg chatting in Italy. © JKR/ERC24

Three FIA World titles: 1997 F1 champion Villeneuve and 2003 WRC as well as 2014 WRX winner Solberg chatting in Italy. © JKR/ERC24

 

Question: “What about your plans for next year?” Answer: “Now the priority for me is not to return to Rallycross. I’m aiming to race again. In what category, I do not know yet. My goal is to compete a full season, work well, and not to take part in sporadic events. And that it does not come down to ‘meet the 1995 Indy500 winner’ again.”

Note: ERC24 asked Albatec Racing yesterday for a comment on Jacques Villeneuve’s claims, but the answer we’ve got today was “thanks so much for holding off and letting us know your plans, there is no comment from Albatec at this time”.

 

Top photo: Where do you go to, Jacques Villeneuve? © AR/ERC24