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Jacques Villeneuve ready for his fifth start in the NASCAR Pinty's Series. (Photo by Matthew Manor/NASCAR)

NEWS & NOTES: Jacques Villeneuve Ready to Make NASCAR Pinty’s Return at GP3R

For the NASCAR Pinty’s Series fifteenth time on the streets of Trois-Rivières, a familiar face in Canadian motorsports will be making his return to the series. 

Jacques Villeneuve will make his fifth series start, first since 2014, and fourth at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières, driving the No. 07 Prolon Controls Dodge prepared by Dumoulin Competition. 

“During my presence at the Daytona 500 last winter, I had the pleasure of meeting Martin D’Anjou of Festidrag Development, who was a great help with the logistics,” said Villeneuve. “When he suggested that I ride under the colours of Festidrag Development and its partners, I was quick to accept.”

“My last race in Trois-Rivières was a few years ago and I can’t wait to come back and meet the NASCAR and car racing fans,” continued Villeneuve. 

Villeneuve will be sharing sponsors will 2022 Josten’s Rookie of the Year Contender, J.P. Bergeron, who is on the hunt for a good finish at GP3R. 

“It’s one of the biggest races, I’ve been watching it since I was a kid. Before I ever thought I would race NASCAR one day, I was attending that race in the stands,” said Bergeron. “I hope Jacques gives me a lot of his tips that he knows. He’s been in enough race cars and racetracks around the world, to know a lot more than I do.”

Dumoulin Competition will house four cars for the team’s homecoming weekend, with Louis-Philippe Montour back again and the team’s co-owner J.F. Dumoulin, with a new sponsor and new livery – Casino Grand Royal Wolinak, returning for the event as well. 

“Racing alongside Jacques Villeneuve will also be an important moment for my brother and I,” explained J.F. Dumoulin. “We have grown up watching the achievements of the Villeneuve family and we are very proud to prepare a car for this great driver.”

Reigning champion and fellow Dumoulin Competition co-owner, L.P. Dumoulin, matched the sentiment, expressing how excited he was for the event. 

“Jacques is one of the great. No other Canadian driver has achieved what he has done in his career in terms of championships and victories,” explained L.P. Dumoulin. “We grew up with the Villeneuve family’s motorsport accomplishments and it is a source of pride to welcome Jacques to our team and at home, for the most important event of the NASCAR Pinty’s season.”

Jacques Villeneuve – A History

Villeneuve’s seasoned racing resume makes him one of the most iconic drivers in Canadian Motorsports history. 

Son of the late Gilles Villeneuve, 1980 Formula One World Champion, Jacques followed in his father’s footsteps, achieving as many renowned accolades as he could. 

He raced Champ Car (eventually IndyCar) in 1994 & 95′, collecting five wins and 10 podium finishes, including the 1995 Indianapolis 500, before winning the championship later that year. 

In 1996, he made his start in F1, and then 17 years after his father, Jacques won the 1997 Formula One World Championship, amounting 11 wins, 23 podiums, 13 poles and leading 633 laps over his ten-year long career. 

In 2007, he gave NASCAR Cup racing a try, making five starts over five different years, with his most recent coming this past February when he made his first attempt at winning the Daytona 500 at 51-year-old. He went on to finish 22nd after starting at the tail-end of the field. 

He also has nine NASCAR Xfinity Series starts between 2008 – 2012, where he has amounted four top-fives (three at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve), six top-tens, one pole award and led 95 laps. 

In 2019, Villeneuve made his NASCAR Euro Series debut, racing full-time for Go Fas Racing, picking up three podium finishes and two pole awards.

A year later, he continued to race in the series on a part-time basis and continued to be top of the field, picking up another podium finish at Autodromo di Vallelunga in Rome, Italy.

In 2021, he finally saw victory, sweeping the final two races of the season back at Autodromo di Vallelunga.

Now, he’s back racing in Canada, looking for that first NASCAR Pinty’s win. And Villeneuve is no stranger to the series, with four starts, three of which came at GP3R, and a podium in 2013, after leading 29 laps, the seasoned racing veteran is sure to be a threat to the win on Sunday. 

Quebec Stars Ready to Dominate the Streets of Trois-Rivières

With 26 cars entered in Les 60 Tours Rousseau Metals, this year’s edition of GP3R is set to be on for the record books, and the fan favourites have already been decided. 

Coming off a victory out in Saskatoon and the reigning race winner at GP3R, Alex Tagliani is sure to be a contender for the 60-lap race.

Hometown heroes, J.F. and L.P. Dumoulin are always in the talks for a win when the series comes to visit their local track. Reigning champion and two-time race winner, L.P. Dumoulin won the pole last year but got shuffled back and finished fifth, while older brother J.F. gave Tagliani a run for his money, finishing runner-up for the first time in his career.

Kevin Lacroix, another two-time winner at the street circuit, finished on the bottom set of the podium last year, while Andrew Ranger holds the records the record for most wins at the track (4). Last year, Ranger had his worse finish at GP3R, after suffering a brake failure and ending his day early in 19th.