Villeneuve seeking sponsors overseas
|By Diego Mejia||Saturday, April 5th 2008, 14:05 GMT|
Jacques Villeneuve is still hopeful of returning to NASCAR and is currently seeking sponsors overseas to try to secure the budget that would see him back behind the wheel in the US.
Villeneuve was left without a drive even before his Sprint Cup Series campaign had actually started this year.
He was involved in an accident during his qualifying race for the season-opening Daytona 500 and a few days later Bill Davis Racing announced Mike Skinner would be replacing him, as there was no sponsorship in place to keep the Canadian in the car.
The former Formula One world champion also split with his long time manager Craig Pollock in January but he is now working closely with former Champ Car boss Barry Green to get the necessary funding to resume his career in NASCAR.
"Well we still have a few months to get the budget," said Villeneuve. "It's hard going. I'm working on my own now and actually working with Barry Green.
"Craig was working hard on buying a team in NASCAR, but that didn't work out and at the same time it closed some doors last year with teams that might have seats. So now I have to start again and keep going."
The Canadian has secured a deal to compete in the last two events of the new Speedcar Series, which features former Formula One drivers in NASCAR Nationwide type machines.
He says the opportunity will not only help him get some valuable seat time in preparation for an eventual return to NASCAR on a road course event, but also to find sponsorship on new markets like Dubai, where he is set to race next weekend.
"It's fun because I have the drivers I raced with in F1, IndyCars or Formula Three or a different series so it's a lot of fun," he said about the series. "It's good training for road courses in NASCAR so that's useful.
"I've seen a lot of friends in Formula One as well that I haven't seen in a long time and hopefully I can find some sponsors for NASCAR when we go to Dubai. I'm working hard on all that."
Villeneuve has thus far competed in two Sprint Cup Series events, starting at Phoenix and Talladega last year after qualifying his way into the two races. He also made seven Craftsman Truck Series starts for Bill Davis Racing last season with a 14th place at Atlanta being his best result.