CHAMPCAR/CART: BAR willing to release Villeneuve to CART

The team principal of British American Racing, David Richards, has publicly indicated his willingness to release Jacques Villeneuve from his contract with the team, allowing him to drive in CART for the 2003 season. Gerry Forsythe, co-owner of...

The team principal of British American Racing, David Richards, has publicly indicated his willingness to release Jacques Villeneuve from his contract with the team, allowing him to drive in CART for the 2003 season.

Gerry Forsythe, co-owner of CART's Forsythe Player's Racing, has said that he would like to run a three-car team in 2003, including fellow Canadians Paul Tracy and Jacques Villeneuve. Player's currently runs Patrick Carpentier and Alexandre Tagliani in the CART series.

"We're looking for opportunities that would enable Player's to run three cars next year," said Forsythe. "We're looking to bring somebody back to our series who has got star power."

The 1995 CART champion and Indianapolis 500 winner would certainly fit Forsythe's requirements.

However, the 1997 Formula One World Champion is under contract through the 2003 season at BAR, the team he joined at its inception in 1999. Villeneuve's manager, Craig Pollock, has indicated that the switch is unlikely, given that a CART team would be unlikely to be able to match the salary Villeneuve earns in Formula One.

On the other hand, Richards feels that maybe the money he spends on the Canadian's salary could be better spent on chassis development.

"The decision is Jacques', but his move to CART would allow us to focus on chassis development," explained Richards. "I would like the move to happen, but Jacques has a contract with us for the 2003 season. I hope to be able to discuss the matter with him in Hungary."

Villeneuve has yet to comment on the possibility himself.

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About this article
Series Formula 1 , IndyCar
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , Paul Tracy , David Richards
Teams British American Racing