Jacques Villeneuve at Zolder for the first time, 37 years after Gilles' deathby Dominic Tobin on 5th October 2019
First visit to Zolder for Jacques Villeneuve as he races at the Belgian circuit in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series
Photo: Motorsport Images
Jacques Villeneuve is racing at Zolder this weekend; the first time that he has been to the circuit where his father lost his life in 1982.
He told Motor Sport that he had never been to the Belgian track before the final round of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, in which he competes.
Jacques was just 11 when his father, Gilles, was killed at Zolder during a qualifying session. Interviewed in this month’s Motor Sport magazine, he tells of the emotion involved in visiting the circuit.
“It’s where my dad passed away, of course, but I’ve never even been there, so that will be quite special, I think,” says Villeneuve. “It’s hard to find quite the right words, but I’m excited that I’ll be racing here – it will be a very powerful moment.”
Jacques competes in this season's NASCAR Euro Series in a Go FAS Racing Chevy Camaro, and was ninth fastest in Friday’s final practice session, ahead of races on Saturday and Sunday.
Villeneuve qualified on pole at the Dutch Raceway Venray earlier this year Photo: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard
The 48-year-old Canadian is currently eighth in the championship, and speaks about why he loves the racing and simplicity of the series in the magazine interview
In 2016, he told Motor Sport that Gilles would have approved of his own racing career, in which he won the Indy 500, the CART Indycar championship and the F1 world championship.
“He would have, yes, definitely,” said Jacques. “I have no memories of talking to him about it, not really. At that point he was too busy with himself, anyway. Which is normal.”
Watch this weekend’s NASCAR Whelen Series racing from Zolder, with live coverage on Saturday and Sunday, available to view below.