(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) – Earlier yesterday, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports co-owners Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson announced that the team will field an Indianapolis 500 entry for 1995 Indianapolis 500 winner Jacques Villeneuve.
Why would Jacques Villeneuve return to racing after such a long period between starts?
“There’s a few reasons,” Villeneuve told the assembled media. “The first one, it’s also a question of opportunity. The opportunity came about with Sam Schmidt. We started talking not long ago, actually a few weeks ago. It all went fast. The discussions happened at the right time because I’d been watching the IndyCars last year, and it looked extremely exciting with the new cars, to the point where I was angry and jealous that I wasn’t racing. So that got me going again.”
Villeneuve continued by saying he wanted to return to the revamped INDYCAR after trying other race programs.
“I’ve been active ever since leaving IndyCar in ’95, anyway, with Formula One. I did some NASCAR racing, some other forms of racing, in Australia, different places. I just wasn’t considering going back to something I’d already done mostly because there’s been a few dark years for IndyCar,” he said. “But the whole group behind the series have been working really hard and done a tremendous job because it’s getting back to the glory days with the races exciting and also the field of drivers is becoming more and more impressive every year again.”