Jacques was born on 9 April, 1971, in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada.
Despite losing his father Gilles, who was tragically killed in 1982 at the wheel of his Formula One Ferrari, Jacques’ was determined to pursue a professional racing career in motorsport.
At the age of 15, Jacques enrolled at the Jim Russell Racing Driver’s School in Quebec. This was the very same school that his late father Gilles Villeneuve had attended, and under the direction of his uncle Jacques Villeneuve Sr., the young Canadian began to learn his craft. It was evident from the very beginning that his talent and potential would carry him through to the highest levels of competitive racing.
By 1992, Jacques had spent three years racing in Italian Formula Three, and took the bold step to move to the TOM’s team to compete in the Japanese Formula Three Championship. Jacques won three races and finished overall second in the championship - ensuring an impressive debut year in the series.
1993 saw him move to the USA to contest the Formula Atlantic Championship with Team Forsythe-Green, where in his debut year, the talented Canadian achieved third place in the overall standings.
This was enough to see him graduate to the Indy Car World Series, and in 1994 he took to the grid with Team Forsythe-Green. Jacques finished an impressive year sixth in the driver standings, a runner-up at the Indianapolis 500, and notably he took the title of Rookie of the Year.
Returning for the 1995 season, Jacques won the Indy Car World Series Driver’s Championship with Team Green, and took a thrilling victory at the 79th running of the Indianapolis 500.
Formula One beckoned and Jacques ventured across the pond after signing to drive for British team Rothmans Williams Renault. Taking pole position in his first ever Grand Prix, Jacques was only denied winning his debut race after an oil leak cost him the victory. However, he went on to win four races that year, and finished runner-up in the Driver’s Championship.
1997 saw Jacques take the coveted Formula One Driver’s title – after a dominant year where he achieved 10 pole positions and seven race wins.
Jacques left the Williams team in 1999, to join new team British American Racing. For the next five years, he worked tirelessly to yield some results for the new team, battling against a field full of fierce competition and experience. However by the end of the 2003 season, Jacques’ highest finish in the championship was seventh (in 2000), and the former F1 World Champion left BAR.
Jacques remained in F1 for the next three years – racing for Renault, Sauber and BMW, before making the decision to step away from Formula One and pursue other projects.
Since 2007, Jacques has competed in NASCAR, Le Mans Series, Speedcar, TRV6, notably finished as runner-up in the 2008 Le Mans 24-Hour Race and ventured into the music industry, so far releasing one album titled "Private Paradise".
In 2010, Jacques competed in select NASCAR Nationwide events with Braun Racing, driving the #32 Dollar General Toyota. He qualified on the front row for the Bucyrus 200 Nationwide Series race at Road America, but finished 25th after a broken alternator wire took out him out of the lead with just a handful of laps remaining. Jacques qualified in sixth position for the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International, where he finished in a solid eighth place, and racing in his hometown of Montreal, Jacques took a thrilling third place finish in the NAPA Auto Parts 200 at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Jacques qualified for the famed Brickyard 400 in the #32 Dollar General Toyota with Braun Racing, becoming the second driver in history (after Juan Pablo Montoya) to compete at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in three major events – the Indy 500, the United States Grand Prix, and the Brickyard 400.
In addition to his NASCAR commitments, 2010 saw Jacques compete in the inaugural Gold Coast 600 V8 Supercar event in Australia, and the Andros Trophy in Europe.
For 2011, Jacques agreed to take over from Brad Keselowski in the No.22 Penske Racing Dodge Challenger in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. for two races which Keselowski could not attend. He started and finished third at Road America, and despite winning the pole at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for the NAPA Auto Parts 200, he finished 27th after a mid-race incident.
Jacques returned to the Andros Trophy with Team Skoda for a winter series in the French Alpes, and in addition to his ice racing commitments, the French-Canadian confirmed his particpation in the inaugural i1 Super Series, to be held at the beginning of 2012.