Motorsport: Villeneuve to race V8 Supercar enduros

Jacques Villeneuve says he's mastering his Pepsi Max V8.
Jacques Villeneuve says he's mastering his Pepsi Max V8.

Ex-Formula One world champion Jacques Villeneuve will compete in the next two V8 Supercars events.

Kelly Racing said this week that the Canadian, who raced in the Townsville 400 this month, will stay behind the wheel of the Pepsi Max Crew Holden Commodore for the Ipswich 300 and the Sydney Motorsport Park 360.

Villeneuve is driving in place of injured New Zealand veteran Greg Murphy and has already expressed a desire to secure a full-time drive in V8s if one becomes available.

"I am thankful to Pepsi Max Crew for another chance to jump in the car, and with more seat time should make further inroads on the field," said Villeneuve, the 1997 F1 world champion.

"These are difficult cars to drive and there is terrific talent in this category, so I was realistic about my chances in Townsville not even testing the car.

"I was pleased with the progress we made as a team through that weekend and comfortable with the knowledge that we can move forward in Ipswich and Sydney."

Villeneuve, who has also won the Indy 500 in his glittering motorsport career, failed to finish the first race in Townsville, but came back to finish 24th in the second race.

Kelly Racing director Todd Kelly said he was confident the 41-year-old's performances would improve.

"Jacques is a absolute professional and will add a lot of value to the team especially as he secures further seat time over the next couple of rounds," Kelly said.

"Jumping in the car at Townsville without testing or even sitting in the car was a daunting task but he took it all in his stride. I was pleased with his efforts and have absolutely no doubt he will quickly move through the field in future events."

The Ipswich 300 will be held from August 3 to 5, and the Sydney Motorsport Park 360 is on August 25 and 26.

-AAP

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