Villeneuve wants Le Mans title

1997 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve wants to race in the Le Mans 24 hours before he retires from the sport. Since his manager and former boss Craig Pollock stepped down from the helm of British American Racing recently there have been rumours...

1997 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve wants to race in the Le Mans 24 hours before he retires from the sport. Since his manager and former boss Craig Pollock stepped down from the helm of British American Racing recently there have been rumours that Villeneuve will follow suit and leave. Both Pollock and Villeneuve have been linked with Renault, although Villeneuve has so far said that he probably will remain with BAR for 2002.

The podium: a happy Jacques Villeneuve. Photo by British American Racing GP Limited.

Villeneuve explained that to win at Le Mans would make him the first driver ever to win Le Mans, the Indy 500, an F1 title and an Indycar title. ""The reason for me to do Le Mans is that nobody's won all four. Three have been won, but never four," he said. "If you stop racing for a few years, then you're not on it anymore. You can still be quick, but not absolutely on it. So I'd want to do Le Mans straight away after F1, get it over with and then I can get away from racing completely."

While Villeneuve talks of getting away from racing, BAR test driver Darren Manning says he would be ready to take over if the Canadian decides to leave either now or when his contract expires at the end of 2002.

"I would love to be given the chance to race with BAR," Manning said. "I think I could be just as good as Jenson Button or Kimi Raikkonen. Jacques still has a year to run on his contract but if he decided to leave now I would have enough time to get ready for the start of the season. I like a challenge and feel I have what it takes - all I need is the chance to prove myself."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button , Jacques Villeneuve , Kimi Raikkonen , Darren Manning
Teams British American Racing