Dumbrell happy to have Jacques

Serious superstar: Jacques Villeneuve, of Canada, is keen on Supercars.
Serious superstar: Jacques Villeneuve, of Canada, is keen on Supercars.

V8 SUPERCAR driver Paul Dumbrell says sharing a seat at this weekend’s Gold Coast 600 with former Formula One world champion Jacques Villeneuve is simply incredible.

The Ford driver will team with the Canadian on the streets of Surfers Paradise, and he feels he’s the luckiest man on the V8 Supercar grid.

Despite several IndyCar drivers, former Formula One pilots and overseas touring car stars being in the 18-man international field for this weekend’s event, it is Villeneuve who is taking top billing.

Some of the star-struck Australian drivers are even contemplating turning fans in pit lane and asking for the 1995 Indianapolis 500 and 1997 Formula One world champion’s autograph.

“I was laughing with Will Davison a little while ago that when we were 15 or 16 we were staying up watching the F1 grand prix and he (Villeneuve) was driving a Rothmans car and winning the world championship,” Dumbrell said yesterday.

“It’s incredible. Good for the category, the level of international quality out there is phenomenal.”

While Villeneuve is currently without a full-time drive, Dumbrell believes he has secured the best international co-driver in the field and he is anticipating the partnership to bear fruit.

“You’d think so, on paper,” Dumbrell said when asked if Villeneuve was as good as it got.

“F1 world champion, IndyCar champion, Indy500 winner, one of only a couple of guys to have done it on both continents – F1 and also IndyCars – so you’d think so.

“He’s still very, very competitive in the Nationwide (American minor category) and Nascar stuff he’s been doing.

“Look out.”

For his part, Villeneuve has already indicated the possibility of his guest appearance turning into a full-time drive in Australia if the opportunity arises.

But he would only consider a multi-year deal, with his main focus at the moment being to secure a full-time Nascar deal.

“It’s always nicer to be in Australia on a holiday but it’s great fun to be here. It’s a good atmosphere,” Villeneuve said.

“I’d be interested (in V8 Supercars) if it’s long-term.

“It has to be a proper deal, not just a few races and let us see how it goes. You can’t move your whole family to Australia with an unknown.”

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Future of telecommunication

Kristy Sparrow from Better Internet for Rural, Regional and Remote Australia (BIRRR).

Survey allows rural Australians to voice their concerns.

Taking a national stand

NO WAY: Students from Year 8 created 'No Way' bullying posters to show bullying has no place at Emerald State High school.

Local high school raises awareness against bullying.

Inland Port announced

ECONOMIC BOOST: Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd makes the funding announcement at the Central Highlands Development Corporation's Economic Futures Forum on Monday.

Ken O'Dowd announced federal funding for two major projects.

Local Partners