CHAMPCAR/CART: Villeneuve turns down Forsythe CART offer

Jacques Villeneuve's rumored return to Team Player's and Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) for the 2003 season was firmly closed today by the current BAR Formula One driver. The french-canadian turned down a three-year, $50-million offer as ...

Jacques Villeneuve's rumored return to Team Player's and Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) for the 2003 season was firmly closed today by the current BAR Formula One driver. The french-canadian turned down a three-year, $50-million offer as reported by Le Journal de Montreal.

The offer was extended to Villeneuve by British American Tobacco, owners of the British American Racing F1 team and Imperial Tobacco, which is based in Montreal and with Gerald Forsythe owns the Player's Forsythe Racing team based in Montreal. The deal would have seen Villeneuve race for Team Player's in 2003 and return to the BAR F1 team for 2004 and 2005.

The Iberville, Quebec driver and his personal agent Craig Pollock considered the offer. Villeneuve won the CART Rookie-of-the-Year title in 1994 with Team Player's Forsythe/Green team and the CART championship in 1995 with Team Green sponsored by Player's.

In an earlier statement, BAR boss David Richards thought the move for a year to CART would have been beneficial to Villeneuve. (CART could help Villeneuve)

Due to the Canadian anti-tobacco legislation, the final year that BAT can sponsor Team Player's is 2003. The team plans an all-out effort to win the CART championship and Forsythe felt Villeneuve would have been an asset.

Current Canadian driver, Patrick Carpentier may now have gained the advantage he needed while currently in negotiations with Player's. Forsythe has been in negotiations with Klein Tools to sponsor all three Canadian drivers, Carpentier, Paul Tracy (currently with Team Kool Green) and Alex Tagliani, who is under contract with Team Player's.

Question during the silly season remains to where Villeneuve will land for the 2003 season.

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About this article
Series Formula 1 , IndyCar
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy , Gerald Forsythe , David Richards
Teams British American Racing