Villeneuve reflects on tough opening day

Jacques Villeneuve

Jacques Villeneuve

Jacques Villeneuve says he enjoyed the first day of practice at the Sucrogen Townsville 400 despite finishing all four practice sessions at the foot of the time sheets.

The former Formula 1 World Champion and Indianapolis 500 winner is substituting for the injured Greg Murphy in Kelly Racing’s Pepsi Max Commodore this weekend.

Villeneuve improved his fastest time in each of the four 30 minute hit-outs, ending the day by setting a best of 1:15.77s on his penultimate lap of the final session.

That lap proved 2.9s adrift of fast-man David Reynolds, and almost a full second away from the second-slowest driver James Moffat.

“It was a tough day,” said Villenueve after the final session.

“There’s a lot to learn with the track, the car, using my left-hand to shift, working on the seat, just a lot going on.

“The Pepsi Max Crew are all working really hard and right now we’re on the slow side, but hopefully it’ll get better throughout the weekend.”

Villeneuve’s day also included an incident with the Turn 3 exit wall in the closing seconds of Practice 3, which brought out the red flags.

The 41-year-old says the Reid Park Street Circuit’s sinuous layout has contributed to the steepness of his learning curve.

“It’s very busy, you’re doing something all the time,” said Villeneuve.

“It’s a tough track to learn the car because there’s no margin for error, but it’s fun and I’m having a blast out there.”

The V8 Supercars will return to the track for qualifying at 1120 local time tomorrow.

See below for’s Sucrogen Townsville 400 Race Guide

See below for’s Race Guide for the British Grand Prix, which is also taking place this weekend

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