Former Indy 500 winner and Formula 1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve is back in Montreal and said to be happy with his performance in the Corrida do Milhao race last weekend, round of the Copa Caixa Brazilian stock car series held in Sao Paulo.
“The weekend started strangely as I realized that my race engineer could only speak Portuguese! Not a word of English! And since my car was brand new, we needed to redo the set-up and get it to run properly,” Villeneuve told Auto123.com.
“The car ran well during the race, and I even took the lead thanks to an aggressive strategy. But suddenly the fuel pump began to malfunction. Because of that, the engine started to miss when I exited some corners. But overall it was a good experience. However, there are no two cars identical. Despite the fact that the chassis are built by the same company, there are some big differences between them. It's just a fact, it's not the fault of the organizers,” Villeneuve added.
“The racing was good. The local competitors drive pretty aggressively, and that's okay. It was good, intense competition. That's a way I like it. But I am disappointed that there were so much differences between the cars.”
Villeneuve added he would have liked to be at the wheel of the No. 22 Dodge Penske this weekend at Watkins Glen for the NASCAR Nationwide race.
Brad Keselowski was injured in a testing accident a week ago, and since Villeneuve will be driving the No. 22 Dodge in the Montreal NASCAR Nationwide race, he thought he would be able to get some extra mileage by doing the Glen race. Unfortunately for him, Kurt Busch, Keselowski's teammate at Penske in the Cup, got the ride.
“No, the phone did not ring,” Villeneuve said. “I would have liked to race at Watkins Glen just before Montreal. But I know I will have a very good car in Montreal. The guys at Penske Racing did some adjustment to the front suspension and the car turns in extremely well in the corners. The brakes are awesome. I think we have a good shot at victory. I am pretty confident,” Villeneuve concluded.