Villeneuve stars in Brazilian Stock Cars
23rd, March, 2015
In a race with 14 former Formula 1 drivers and other distinguished guests, the Doubles Race was marked by a driver whose name was immortalized by major action on track: Villeneuve. With team-mate Ricardo Zonta in the No. 10 Shell Racing car, Jacques Villeneuve starred in some of the most exciting moments of the race held today in Goiania.
Fighting for a place in the top-10 Doubles Race, the son of the legendary Gilles Villeneuve starred on the Goiás track when, for the most fanatical fans, recalled his father's fights in late 1970s and early 1980s. The most celebrated being between Gilles and Rene Arnoux in 1979 in Dijon, considered the most beautiful in F1.
"The race was really fun and exciting, I really wanted to finish in the top-10 and win points for Ricardo in the championship and we were very close to achieving this running in 5th position. But then I had to go out on the grass to avoid Bruno (Senna) who ran in front of me and I lost some positions." said the World Champion.
His recovery onto the track was the start of the Villeneuve show. One of his best overtaking manoeuvres occurred outside of the curve 1 on Matheus Stumpf. Then the Canadian attacked and defended positions to impress, even getting aggressive touches from other opponents.
"Some drivers made stupid manoeuvres, trying to hit my car all the time. When someone hits me like that, I return in kind, simple as that. I'm a fighter on the track but if someone does something to me, I take charge. But at the end of the day, it makes you lose a lot of time. At least it was fun there on the track and I'm sure that the images on TV were exciting for the fans.” said Villeneuve. “I would like to thank the entire Shell Racing team for giving me the opportunity this weekend which I will never forget and hope to return again in the future.”
The pair ended the race in 15th place, three places from scoring - in the Doubles Race, only the first 12 score points. Still, the weekend was positive for Zonta and his championship aspirations.
"The start of the race was good, I overtook several cars at the start. But I could not use the overdrive button, with this problem I could not pass anyone and lost some positions. We had to use the spare steering wheel and when Jacques entered the track the issue was resolved. He managed some great overtaking, but suffered with some bumps with other cars and lost the points that we could get. But the weekend was nice, it was great to return to racing with Jacques and I'm sure that Shell Racing will be even more competitive in Ribeirão Preto, "said Zonta.
For the team boss of Shell Racing, Rodolpho Mattheis, the Doubles Race had positive results for the team.
"We got a performance improvement after practice, with a car always in the top three. We had no car to win, but the third place was possible. In the case of Zonta and Villeneuve, we had points, but in terms of show it was great to see Villeneuve driving with this passion. I was really enthused, happy and excited to see Jacques in our car." said Rudolpho.