Jacques Villeneuve has secured a temporary ride with Braun Racing and will compete in the NASCAR Nationwide event at Road America and and then the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, the team announced today.
I guess that means we officially can write off a Stefan GP appearance on the Formula 1 grid this season.
(Jacques is still listed on the Stefan GP website as one of the drivers the team “talked to,” along with Karun Chandhok, Sebastien Loeb, Takuma Sato and Michael, er, Ralf Schumacher.)
Here’s some from the press release, which strangely enough isn’t on Braun Racing’s site.
Both tracks hold special meaning to Villeneuve. He earned his first career CART Series win at Elkhart Lake and the return to Montreal will mark his third career Nationwide Series start at the world-renowned road course named after his father, Gilles Villeneuve, also a legendary F1 racer.
Last season in Montreal, Villeneuve qualified Braun Racingâ€™s No. 32 Toyota Camry in the sixth position. Despite heavy rain conditions that enveloped the area for the second consecutive year, the highly skilled driver brought home a fourth-place finish. He is a road course phenomenon with a tremendous amount of experience at both race tracks. A two-time winner at Road America in the CART Series (1994 and 1995), Villeneuve also claimed the pole position for the 1995 event.
â€œItâ€™s great to be back driving with Braun Racing and Dollar General,â€ said Villeneuve. â€œRacing again after an exciting and fun race last year in Montreal, and now to also be doing the race at Elkhart Lake (Road America) where I won my first Indy race is going to be full of good memories! I am very much looking forward to it!â€
â€œWe are very happy to have Villeneuve back behind the wheel of the Dollar General Toyota at Road America and Montreal,â€ said Braun Racing owner, Todd Braun. â€œHe is an extremely talented driver and has had very strong runs in our cars in the past. His experience and success at Road America will be a great asset to our team and its road course program.â€
So. I guess I’m supposed to be snarky here. But I’ve really got nothing.