JANUARY 9, 2007
Villeneuve for Le Mans!
Our spies tell us that Jacques Villeneuve will tomorrow be named as one of the drivers for the Peugeot Sport Le Mans 24 Hours programme. The French company is expected to run the diesel-powered 908 in the Le Mans European Series this year with drivers tipped to be Nicolas Minassian and Stephane Sarrazin.
There are also reports that Pedro Lamy has been seen testing the car at Paul Ricard and there has been speculation that the others who may be involved at Le Mans are Sebastien Bourdais, Marco Werner, Guy Smith and perhaps Olivier Panis.
Villeneuve has spent the recent weeks trying to put together a NASCAR package for the future but in recent days it has become clear that this is not going to happen for 2007 and Villeneuve may do just a few races in America prior to launching his NASCAR career in 2008 - if he can get a deal together. Going to Le Mans is a logical move for Jacques now that his F1 career come to an end. He has won the F1 World Championship, the Indycar title and the Indianapolis 500 and adding victory at Le Mans would make him unique as Graham Hill is currently the only man to have won the Indianapolis 500, the Le Mans 24 Hours and the World Championship - although he never won a US national championship.
Mike Hawthorn, Jochen Rindt and Phil Hill all won the F1 World Championship and the Le Mans 24 Hours but they never won the Indianapolis 500. Jim Clark, Mario Andretti and Emerson Fittipaldi all won the World Championship and the Indianapolis 500 but they never won Le Mans, while AJ Foyt won Le Mans and the Indianapolis 500 but never figured in F1.
The Peugeot 908 is being designed in-house at Peugeot Sport in Velizy under the supervision of technical manager Bruno Famin. The technical team will include head of chassis design Paolo Catone, a former F1 engineer, with ex-Dallara aerodynamicist Guillaume Catellani and designer Jean-Marc Schmit.
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