2014 FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy has added a former Formula 1 World Champion to what is an increasingly competitive driver line-up for its inaugural campaign, with Jacques Villeneuve signing up to compete in an Albatec Racing-prepared 600bhp Peugeot 208 at this year’s FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy.
Martin Anayi, Managing Director of FIA World RX for IMG Motorsport – a division of IMG said, “The news that Jacques Villeneuve is joining the FIA World Rallycross Championship for its inaugural season is a tremendous coup.” “It is massively exciting for everybody involved in the Championship and for all of our fans. It will be great to see World Champions from different disciplines battling it out in FIA World RX.
“As a former F1 World Champion, Indianapolis 500 winner and IndyCar Champion, Jacques is a true motorsport legend, and his on-track achievements and off-track personality have earned him cult status all around the world. We have no doubt that he will thoroughly enjoy his new rallycross challenge, and that fans all around the globe will revel in watching his spectacular style behind the wheel of one of our flame-spitting, 600bhp Supercars.”
Jacques Villeneuve won the 1995 IndyCar World Series and Indianapolis 500, 2 years later took home the F1 World Champion crown. With 11 race victories to his name, Villeneuve is the the only active racing driver to have lifted all 3 trophies. After F1, Villeneuve has competed in NASCAR, Le Mans 24 Hours, 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.”
“I am delighted to welcome Jacques to the Albatec Racing team,” said Scott. “He brings with him a wealth of experience and an outstanding pedigree across all disciplines. He is renowned for his technical excellence and ability to drive any car to its limit, and I was very impressed with how quickly he got to grips with the car in France. I am very eager to see how he settles into the 600bhp Peugeot 208 during his debut year in rallycross.
“Rallycross itself is moving into a very exciting phase, and the new FIA World Rallycross Championship offers a fantastic commercial opportunity for the team.”