The newly formed joint-venture between Federico Monti’s Academy Motorsport and Alex Caffi Motorsport with technical support from Race Art Technology found its top driver. Former Formula 1 World Champion and Indy 500 champion Jacques Villeneuve will pilot the #5 EuroNASCAR FJ and chase the 2021 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series title.
Having come very close to winning his first NASCAR race several times in the last two seasons, Villeneuve is poised to finally break through and contend for the EuroNASCAR title. The Canadian boasts four podium finishes, six top-5s and nine top-10s in 15 starts in EuroNASCAR PRO.
“I am super excited to enter this season with a brand new team and the great enthusiasm everyone is showing. Federico and Alex bring the perfect mix of positive attitude, experience and knowledge we need to hit the ground running with this new project,” said Villeneuve. “I’m confident we have what it takes to go for the win in every race of the 2021 NWES season.”
For team co-owner Federico Monti, who took his first steps in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series by finishing second in the 2020 Club Challenge, having Villeneuve in the team is simply a dream come true.
“It’s a matter of heart and passion. I was a great fan of Jacques’ father Gilles. When he passed I was 10 years old and I wrote a letter to Jacques’ mother telling her I was dreaming of a Villeneuve being World Champion one day. Jacques not only became World Champion but he also became a very special and unique driver to me, because of the way he drove and his attitude outside the car,” said Monti. “He’s the only non-Ferrari driver I ever rooted for and giving him the opportunity to chase a NASCAR title is just incredible. I really think that together with Alex Caffi and with the support of Race Art Technology, we can do something special and I want to thank everyone involved. We are putting all our efforts into this new adventure.”
The Villeneuve signing will also mark a new milestone for the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. For the first time in the series history, two former Formula 1 competitors will team up in EuroNASCAR: Alex Caffi as team owner and Jacques Villeneuve as a driver.
“I’m extremely happy. It’s fantastic to have a Formula 1 World Champion with us. As I said in previous occasions, this partnership with Federico Monti and Academy Motorsport is really taking our project to the next level. Thanks to this joint-venture, we will finally challenge for the EuroNASCAR PRO title with Jacques, but we can also have our say in all NWES championships, from the EuroNASCAR 2 with Vladimiros to the Club Challenge with Federico himself. I can’t wait to get started, the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series reached a very high level of competitiveness in the last few years and it’s fantastic to take this further step forward.”
The partnership between Academy Motorsport and Alex Caffi Motorsport is working on fielding up to three full-time cars this year and pre-season tests will start in the upcoming weeks to prepare the May 15-16 season opener at Valencia, Spain.
Featured image credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Bart Dehaese