Jacques Villenueve, the 1995 Indianapolis 500 winner and 1997 Formula One champion, will pursue the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series championship this year in a joint effort between Federico Monti’s Academy Motorsport and Alex Caffi Motorsport with technical support from Race Art Technology.
Villeneuve has competed in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series the last two years, earning four podium finishes, six top-five and nine top-10 finishes in the EuroNASCAR PRO division.
“I am super excited to enter this season with a brand new team and the great enthusiasm everyone is showing. Federico and Alex bring the perfect mix of positive attitude, experience and knowledge we need to hit the ground running with this new project,” said Villeneuve. “I’m confident we have what it takes to go for the win in every race of the 2021 NWES season.”
For team co-owner Monti, who took his first steps in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series by finishing second in the 2020 Club Challenge, having Villeneuve as part of the team is simply a dream come true.
“It’s a matter of heart and passion. I was a great fan of Jacques’ father Gilles. When he passed I was 10 years old and I wrote a letter to Jacques’ mother telling her I was dreaming of a Villeneuve being World Champion one day. Jacques not only became World Champion but he also became a very special and unique driver to me, because of the way he drove and his attitude outside the car,” said Monti. “He’s the only non-Ferrari driver I ever rooted for and giving him the opportunity to chase a NASCAR title is just incredible. I really think that together with Alex Caffi and with the support of Race Art Technology, we can do something special and I want to thank everyone involved. We are putting all our efforts into this new adventure.”
The Villeneuve signing will also mark a new milestone for the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. For the first time in the series history, two former Formula one competitors will team up in EuroNASCAR: Alex Caffi as team owner and Jacques Villeneuve as a driver.
“I’m extremely happy. It’s fantastic to have a Formula One World Champion with us. As I said in previous occasions, this partnership with Federico Monti and Academy Motorsport is really taking our project to the next level,” said Caffi. “Thanks to this joint-venture, we will finally challenge for the EuroNASCAR PRO title with Jacques, but we can also have our say in all NWES championships, from the EuroNASCAR 2 with Vladimiros to the Club Challenge with Federico himself. I can’t wait to get started, the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series reached a very high level of competitiveness in the last few years and it’s fantastic to take this further step forward.”