Kelly Racing all but confirms Villeneuve return
Kelly Racing has given the strongest hint yet that former Formula 1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve will compete in further rounds of this year’s V8 Supercars Championship.
The 41-year-old Canadian joined the team for last weekend’s Sucrogen Townsville 400 as regular driver Greg Murphy continues to recover from back surgery.
Murphy is not expected to return until September’s Sandown 500, leaving Kelly Racing without a confirmed driver for the intervening events at Queensland Raceway and Sydney Motorsport Park.
While neither the team nor Villeneuve were ready to publicly commit to further events in Townsville, a poster promoting the chance to win a ride in the Pepsi Max Crew Commodore with Jacques Villeneuve is currently being circulated by the team.
The competition closes on August 19th, a week prior to the Sydney race, with the ride likely to be held as part of a multi-team track booking on the Monday.
While the competition offers no clue as to Villeneuve’s plans for Queensland Raceway, the two V8 Supercars events conveniently bookend the NASCAR Nationwide road course races at Watkins Glen (August 11) and Montreal (August 18). Villeneuve will drive for Penske Racing in Montreal, but has yet to lock in a deal for the New York event.
Although confirming that the competition winner’s ride with Villeneuve is likely to be conducted at Sydney Motorsport Park on the Monday following the race weekend, Kelly Racing spokesman Nick Ryan told Speedcafe.com that no agreement has been made about racing at this point.
“We have a deal with Jacques to come back and do a ride day for Pepsi, but there’s certainly nothing confirmed for the next two rounds with anyone as of yet,” he said.