Emotional day for Jacques Villeneuve Challenge3R
Jacques Villeneuve's uncle, announced his retirement in front of hundreds of admirers in Trois-Rivieres.
Sunday, March 9, to my arrival on the great track ice Trois-Rivieres, one of the first people to whom I speak is Celine, the wife of Jacques happening circuit for this last day of the the first edition of Challenge3R.
Like every time we meet or - for too long to remember exactly what year was the first time - we made a friendly hug. For the first time in years, Celine was smiling and seemed relieved the decision announced from Jacques confirm FINALLY retiring from racing snowmobiles. We talked a few minutes before she follows her man inside the good old trailer that has served Jacques and his team of mechanics and preparateurs past few decades.
Attempt to retrace the career of Jacques also very well on paved tracks candied North America would be an impossible task in one column, I should write a book, probably a brick, and it is certainly not the purpose of this review.
Some important reminders
Jacques began his career as a snowmobile racer in the 70s and has successfully tried other forms of racing in the 70s and 80s. Most adults will remember his Honda Michelin Series championships in 1976 and 1978 with many victories in this series which included, for some races, more than 40 cars on the starting grid.
Jacques also key to the Ford and Formula Atlantic where he deserves rookie of the year in 1979 before winning the championship title of the series in 1980 and 1981. This is also in 1980 that he won the first of his three championships Derby Snowmobile Eagle River Wisconsin. Jacques is still today the only driver to have won this prestigious championship three times.
Not to mention it is triple champion of the Grand Prix Ski-Doo of Valcourt with victories in 1986, 2005 and 2006!
It is has been 1981 at the presentation of the Grand Prix of Canada, Jacques has tried-unsuccessfully to qualify - a disastrous Arrows colors of Italian ceramics company. His brother Gilles, while Ferrari had disobeyed an order from his team and was back on track in the last minutes of the meeting of qualification to try to help the poor Jacques has qualified Arrows with vacuum aspiration. In vain.
I will never forget the short sentence Gilles when I asked what had happened ... "Neither I nor anyone here could describe this trash," he had loose before turning on his heel, very angry to take refuge in his garage with his little brother.
Jacques really affects everything, including the Champ Car where he had the honor of being the first Canadian to win a victory in this prestigious series in the United States and in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1983. However, c is really snowmobile race he has made his mark as being Jacques Indestructible.
The indestructible uncle Jacques
Jacques has possibly also the record of serious injury with very serious accidents in the race in 2008 in Wisconsin and the Grand Prix of Valcourt in 2013, among others.
After several years of competition, the veteran champion today clinched age 60. Is himself who confirmed during a ceremony on the icy track and he made a last lap on the famous yellow machine with the number 96. "Today, I announce the end of my career but ... you never know! "
Still speaking to 100 km / h, it first closes the door on his career, but it also ensures that no block has the double turn in his commentary goodbye.
My dear Jacques, friends wish you a long and happy retirement from active racing, and we hope to see you again as long and often as possible as an ambassador of a sport you are passionate and have always fascinate you!
Michel Flageole for www.Flagworld.com
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