Ex F1-driver Jacques Villeneuve is determined to witn the 24-hour race at Le Mans, despite reservations within the Peugeot team. In an interview with Radio Canada, Villeneuve said that unlike his team, he will not be treating this year’s race as a mere ‘learning experience’ and he is going go try and win Le Mans in his 908 diesel HDi.
“Peugeot and I don’t have the same approach,” he said. “I might not have the chance to do Le Mans in 2008 so for me, it’s 2007 that counts, it’s very important and I’m going to do everything to win. Now, if the car is not ready, that’s a shame, but that’s the way it is. We’ll still give it a shot.”
Team manager, Serge Saulnier, said “2007 is really a year to learn and put things in place. We can do all the simulations possible and imaginable but you cannot replicate Le Mans, hence the 24 hours, this year, is a big testing ground for us. We need more time.”
Villeneuve will be heading out for a second test in his Peugeot in March.
His agent, Craig Pollock, has said Villeneuve’s drive – he is looking to win as many different motorsport titles as he can, having already has won Indy Car, Indianapolis 500 and Formula 1.
“He can’t win 7 Formula 1 world championships,” Pollock explained. “Michael has already done that – but potentially he can be one of the great race drivers in the world by winning all sorts of different championships. He wants to win Le Mans. It’s something he’s never done before. He’s done open wheel racing. People might find him going to NASCAR unusual, but which Formula 1 champion has ever had a chance to win the NASCAR series? And then why not rally for fun?”
Pollock has insisted that Villeneuve is very close to lining up a title sponsor for NASCAR which will hopefully give him a good chance of winning the series. Villeneve is in no rush though, and will wait for the right team. “Jacques is 35,” Pollock explained. “Mark Martin, who was leading the Daytona 500 until the last seconds, is 48. Dale Jarrett is 50. So Jacques has 15 years.”
Villeneuve will also not let his music get in the way of his career. “Right now, my career is racing. This is a hobby, so it has to be fun.”