By AURÉLIEN BAMBAGIONI WWW.JV-LOUNGE.COM
The first season in Jacques Villeneuve’s Nascar Whelen Euro Series was not as promising as his fans – and surely himself – were hoping for after his full-time commitment with Go Fas Racing. Already involved in NWES and X-Finity and in 2019 in NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series in the United States, this structure is owned by Alain Lord Mounir, long-time supporter of the French-Canadian driver in motorsport.
Many changes between the year 2018 and 2019 made Villeneuve’s experience difficult, yet still comfortable at the wheel of Nascar-type cars. Firstly the number 32 was so far was a Ford Mustang and it was well expected that JV engages in Mustang. First surprise in Valencia in April 2019 during the first meeting of the season, to see him ride in Chevrolet Camaro. It will not be if it will have a real impact on the performance of the year. Then a tire manufacturer change from Michelin to General Tire. Who disappointed Jacques. It has been known to support Michelin since it was introduced to Sauber in F1 in 2005. Finally, a car with slanted settings, unique dampers and sealed engines will not have allowed the former Formula 1 world champion, who has knows very good director and able to make a car performing and to his hand, to express himself fully in his first full season behind a wheel for too many years.
However, many positive elements emerge from this year 2019 in Euro Nascar. In addition to a commitment to the GT championship in Italy with Giancarlo Fisichella and Stefano Gai where Villeneuve aboard an official Ferrari of the Baldini team demonstrated all his mastery to drive cars on circuit, the winning driver The 1995 Indianapolis 500 has shown a definite appetite for finally driving a NASCAR car. The European series is one of three Nascar World franchises, with Canada and Mexico. The European cars may not be as good as their cousins in the US but it is clear that they look more like real NASCAR cars. To have seen them evolve since their beginning where they looked more like the vehicles engaged in Nascar regional series, they are now comparable to the Canadian or even to the second North American division.
By finishing in 8th place overall out of 45 entries, with 7 Top 10, 4 Top 5 including two podiums, and 2 pole positions – on the only oval track and on the last race of the season at Zolder – Jacques Villeneuve showed himself combative and valiant driving throughout the season, playing doors and offering beautiful lifts and beautiful defenses position at each appointment. It must now confirm in 2020. First by a commitment in the series that his name will make known a little more in Europe and Quebec. Then capitalizing on his first year to go ahead and glean to a minimum, finally, his first career victory in NASCAR. Who has been refusing him for too long.