For immediate release
THANKS TO THE SUPPORT OF THE GROUP THE CANADIAN JACQUES VILLENEUVE, FIVE-TIME WINNER OF THE GP3R, IS BACK ON TRACK
Trois-Rivières, July 14, 2022 - Forty-six years after his first start - a victorious one, by the way - at the Grand Prix of Trois-Rivières, the veteran Jacques Villeneuve returns to the Trois-Rivières circuit to participate in the Modified Legends series that will be held on August 5, 6 and 7. The Friends of the Grand Prix will take the opportunity to hang him on the Villeneuve passage and finally induct him in their Hall of Fame where he will join his brother Gilles, member since 1999.
"I was never interested in going for plaques or medals," said Villeneuve, "but when the Grand Prix told me that there might be a place to come back to weigh sua suce, they got my attention," said the veteran driver who is 68 years, 9 months and 4 days old during the last race of the Modified Legends that will close the 52nd edition of the GP3R on August 7.
It is thanks to the support of the Groupe Le Canadien, owner of several restaurants in the Centre-du-Québec including the legendary Roy Jucep - L'Inventeur de la poutine and its CEO Laurent Léger-Proulx that Villeneuve will be able to take the wheel of the Légende Modifiée of the Trifluvian Maxime Tardif team.
"I have always been a great, great fan of motorsports," commented Mr. Proulx. The memories of seeing Jacques race a snowmobile at the Valcourt Grand Prix are deeply engraved in my mind and it is truly an honour to be able to associate my company with a man who always remains true to his principles. I didn't have the chance to become a professional driver, but I can tell you that Jacques often made me dream of it!"
For Maxime Tardif, it's an unhoped-for opportunity to have his brand new 2022 Valiant car entrusted to a driver whose career has left its mark on the history of Canadian motorsports and the Trois-Rivières Grand Prix.
"When I contacted Dominic Fugère to try to make room for the Légendes Modifiées at GP3R, I could never have imagined that Jacques Villeneuve would be behind the wheel of one of my cars. Jacques is a driver who has made history, but working with him I quickly understood what it was like to work with a true professional of his caliber," commented the driver and tuner.
Veteran journalist Serge L'Heureux, who witnessed each of Villeneuve's five victories in Trois-Rivières, was asked to document this tour of honour of the career of the man who won the Volant Québecois Espoir Class (2nd overall) in 1976, who won the 1981, 1989 and 1991 Formula Atlantic events, and who also won the Can-Am in 1983.
GP3R General Manager Dominic Fugère was proud to announce Villeneuve's return to Trois-Rivières after a seven-year absence.
"Since my arrival at the head of the Grand Prix, I've been talking to friends and the PGA to try to make him a part of our Hall of Fame. I understand and respect him when he says he has no business being here if he doesn't drive. It is to respect this principle and this will that we looked for a wheel and partners for him. Like Laurent, I have been thrilled to see Jacques throughout his career. I am proud that a partner like Le Canadien Group allows us to offer Jacquot this lap of honor."
Claude Bourgeois, President of the Friends of the Grand Prix, and Jean-Denis Girard, Director of the Hall of Fame, were quick to add a fourth name to the list of 2022 inductees.
"We couldn't pass up the opportunity to have Jacques here without inducting him," said Mr. Bourgeois. It's an honor to be able to induct him along with James Hunt, who helped his brother Gilles get into F1, Jean-Claude "Sunny" Paquin and Serge Lafrenière. We usually induct three members a year but Jacques' spot has been reserved for a long, long time."
Two weekends of activities on two legendary circuits
The 52nd edition of the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières will be held from August 5 to 14. The NASCAR Pinty's Series, SCCC-FEL, Nissan Sentra Cup, Super Production Challenge, F1600 Canada, Chevrolet Urban Challenge and Modified Legends will be on the road course weekend of August 5, 6 and 7 while Canadian Rallycross, VCC-cross and Class 10 autocross events will be on the program of August 13 and 14.
The Magic of Fires presented by the City of Trois-Rivières will once again light up the sky of Trois-Rivières on Saturday, August 6, with the Royal Pyrotechnics fireworks returning to the Port Park, on a Groupe Océan barge installed on the St. Lawrence River.
The Grand Départ Cogeco will launch the festivities at the Parc portuaire on Thursday, August 4, starting at 6:00 p.m. when many drivers, flanked by their cars and their team trailers, will meet with enthusiasts before enjoying, with them, an evening of musical entertainment on the large stage of the Corporation des événements de Trois-Rivières.