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IndyCar: Jacques Villeneuve says Indy 500 chance 'was too good to turn down'

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Former Indy car and Formula 1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve will be back at the famous Brickyard in May to contest the Indy 500, 19 years after he won the event.

Because of a date conflict, the Canadian had to be released by Team Albatec from his contract to contest the entire season of the FIA World Rallycross Championship.

“Of course I’m disappointed not to be racing at Lydden Hill, the team’s home event, particularly after such a great test at the circuit on Saturday. However I’ve always wanted to do the Indy 500 one more time and this offer is just too good to turn down,” said Villeneuve.

“After the test in Kent, it really fired me up for the FIA World Rallycross Championship, and I remain committed to giving my very best to the team and the Championship, starting at the opening round in Portugal”.

“However I’m a racer, with a passion for racing, and the Indy 500 is without question the biggest event on the motorsport calendar – not many drivers get the chance to drive on that track, and for me it’s a personal challenge, with a first and second there already, I need to finish in the top two to keep up the average!” Villeneuve said.

IndyCar Jacques Villeneuve Indy 500 1995
Jacques Villeneuve, Indy 500 1995 (Photo: Ford)

Villeneuve is one of two drivers to compete in IndyCar, NASCAR Sprint Cup and Formula 1 cars at Indianapolis. The other is 2000 Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya, who is returning to the IndyCar Series in 2014 as a full-time driver with Team Penske.

"To have the opportunity to return to Indy car racing and the Indianapolis 500 is something I never thought possible. The memories I have there will stay with me for the rest of my life, and I'm excited to create new memories in 2014,” Villeneuve continued.

"I've been fortunate enough to compete in several of the world's top racing series, and nothing excites me more than entering the IndyCar Series at its current level of competitiveness. Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has proven itself able to compete with the largest of teams, and I am excited to get to work with Sam and the team and start preparing for May,” Villeneuve concluded.