Jacques Villeneuve to drive in 2014 FIA World Rallycross Championship
Last Updated: 13/02/14 4:50pm
Jacques Villeneuve: Will be part of inaugural World Rallycross Championship
Former Formula One world champion Jacques Villeneuve has signed to drive in the 2014 FIA World Rallycross Championship.
The Canadian has committed to a full season with the Dumfries-based Albatec Racing team, who will provide him with Peugeot 208 machinery.
Villeneuve added the Formula One title to his IndyCar World Series and Indianapolis 500 crown in 1997 when driving for Williams, winning 11 races before calling it a day.
Since then, he has gone on to compete in NASCAR, the Le Mans 24 Hours, the Andros Trophy ice-racing series and Australian V8 Supercars.
"I am really looking forward to entering the rallycross arena with Albatec Racing," said Villeneuve.
"With my previous ice-racing experience, I'm excited about driving sideways in a 600bhp, four-wheel-drive Peugeot 208 over the combination of loose and tarmac surfaces, not to mention the jumps. With the added incentive of it being an FIA World Championship, the opportunity was really too good to miss.
"We had a very successful test in France. I was very impressed with the quality of the team, particularly on the engineering side - it reminded me of my time in F1.
"The car is just so responsive, the power is amazing and with 600bhp to play with, who wouldn't be excited? I was pleasantly surprised by how reactive the car is to any changes, and I'm very much looking forward to getting into the events."
The inaugural season begins the weekend of May 3-4 at Montalegre in Portugal with the British round coming on May 24-25 at the Lydden Hill circuit in Kent. Villeneuve will also get a chance to race in front of his home fans in the Canada Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres in August.
Former World Rally champion Petter Solberg is among the other drivers already confirmed for the new series along with Britain's most successful rallycross driver Liam Doran.