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Villeneuve aims for 500 miles from Daytona

Villeneuve aims for 500 miles from Daytona

After two days of preparatory testing at Daytona, Jacques Villeneuve’s goal has not changed: he wants to participate in the most famous race of the NASCAR Cup, the race that begins the 2022 season.

The Formula 1 world champion said in a phone interview with magazine Yesterday evening. Everything went well. We mainly focused on riding on our own to increase our chances of qualifying. “

He continued, “Unless there’s a bad surprise, which I obviously don’t want, our team [Team Hezeberg] Plans to continue the adventure. “

Created in the Netherlands, this team is taking its first steps into the field of NASCAR Queen of Discipline. Villeneuve was appointed by this organization to drive in the most famous American motor racing complex.

The Daytona 500 will take place on February 20 and bring together all the big names in NASCAR, including Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano, to name a few.

Limited means

“We are a small team with limited financial means,” Villeneuve admitted. There is no certainty because you will have to participate in one of the two qualifying events. [communément appelées les « Duels »]Thursday evening a few days before the race to secure our place on the grid. “

“The good news is that our times are on Wednesday,” he added [hier] At the end of the day it was very comparable to another driver who would also have to complete the stage successfully
qualifications. “

“All hope is permitted”

According to his estimates, four drivers will fight for the six seats still available on the grid. All others, NASCAR franchisees, are guaranteed a place in the starting grid, regardless of their outcome in the ‘Duelts’.

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“All hopes are valid,” Villeneuve said. The team hasn’t made any official announcement, but their ambitions are clear. She wants to run to Daytona. In my case, I wasn’t going to make the trip to Florida just for fun. “

The last (and only) presence of the 50-year-old veteran pilot at Daytona dates back to 2008. A hole destroyed his track during one of the “duels”, preventing him from becoming the first Quebec since Dick Foley in 1960, to participate in that race It is considered the “Super Bowl” of NASCAR.

Dad for the fifth time

At a press conference yesterday in Daytona, Villeneuve made no secret that his passion for racing had not changed, despite… his age and especially his other profession.

Villeneuve has four starts in the NASCAR Premier Division. Show as best score 21e A place at Talladega in 2007, a speed ring as Daytona, and her last test back at Sonoma Circuit in 2013.

Since then, he has never given up on the idea of ​​returning to North America, despite his regular participation in other projects.

“The focus on racing here is a bit more complicated since I live in Italy,” he said. I’m very busy working as an analyst in Formula 1 [pour le réseau français Canal +] and give birth to children. “

By the way, Villeneuve was eager to return home. His new partner, Italian Julia Mara, will give birth to a baby in a few weeks.

And he concludes that wouldn’t stop me from driving in Daytona. “

Villeneuve is the father of four boys born of two previous men.

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With Tommy Thurber, QMI