Villeneuve locked in for return at Ipswich and Sydney


Kelly Racing has confirmed 1997 Formula 1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve will return to the team to compete for the Pepsi Max Crew entry in the Coates Hire Ipswich 300 and Sydney Motorsport Park events.


Villeneuve, who replaced the injured Greg Murphy at the Sucrogen Townsville 400, will return to Australia for the next two V8 Supercars events, with Murphy not expected to return until the endurance events starting at the Sandown 500 in September.


"I am thankful to Pepsi Max Crew for another chance to jump in the car and with more seat time should make further inroads on the field," said Villeneuve.


"These are difficult cars to drive and there is terrific talent in this category so was realistic about my chances in Townsville not even testing the car.


"On reflection was pleased with the progress we made as a team through that weekend and comfortable with the knowledge that we can move forward in Ipswich and Sydney."


Villeneuve failed to finish in his first solo V8 Supercars race following engine problems, recovering to take 24th in the second race at Townsville with his times improving throughout the weekend.


"It is great news for the Pepsi Max Crew and V8 Supercars that Jacques is coming back to race in Australia for the next two events," said Kelly Racing Director Todd Kelly.


"Jacques is a absolute professional and will add a lot of value to the team especially as he secures further seat time over the next couple of rounds.


"Jumping in the car at Townsville without testing or for that matter even sitting in the car is a daunting task but he took it all in his stride and was pleased with his efforts and have absolutely no doubt he will quickly move through the field in future events."


Pepsi Max has promised another new livery is on the way for Ipswich, following on from the Villeneuve-inspired colours it ran in Townsville.


"We've got another new livery design on the way that's all about a new product that we are launching in August so it's a big couple of weeks for the Pepsi Max Crew," said Adam Burling the Brand Manager at Pepsico.


"It's great that we've been able to secure Jacques for the next two rounds of the V8 Supercars championship; he was a great addition to the Pepsi Max Crew in Townsville and we're really excited to see how he goes at Ipswich in a couple of weeks."


The Coates Hire Ipswich 300 will be held on August 3 to 5.



Event Date
Superloop Adelaide 500 February 28-March 3
Melbourne 400 March 14-17
Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint April 5-7
WD-40 Phillip Island SuperSprint April 12-14
Perth SuperNight May 2-4
Winton SuperSprint May 24-26
BetEasy Darwin Triple Crown June 14-16
Watpac Townsville 400 July 5-7
Ipswich SuperSprint July 26-28
The Bend SuperSprint August 23-25
ITM Auckland SuperSprint September 13-15
Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 October 10-13
Vodafone Gold Coast 600 October 25-27
Sandown 500 November 8-10
Coates Hire Newcastle 500 November 22-24



1. Scott McLaughlin
2. Shane van Gisbergen
2410 -598
3. Chaz Mostert
2327 -681
4. Fabian Coulthard
2317 -691
5. Jamie Whincup
2140 -868
6. David Reynolds
2084 -924
7. Cameron Waters
1975 -1033
8. Nick Percat
1894 -1114
9. Will Davison
1811 -1197
10. Lee Holdsworth
1704 -1304

Full championship standings