No question about the biggest story of the week, 1997 F1 World champion Jacques Villeneuve is now a rallycross driver and the official reveal of his signing up for the FIA World Rallycross Championship created a storm of media activity. Albatec Racing boss Andy Scott negotiated the deal to bring Villeneuve into rallycross and hosted the launch press conference in the team’s base at Dumfries in Scotland. Spending a whole day giving interviews, Villeneuve made it clear that his pre-contract test had convinced him rallycross was the right thing for him to do. “I love the challenge, it’s something completely new,” he said. “The Peugeot drives like a racecar and reacts like a proper racecar. Four-wheel drive means you can get out of tricky situations and it’s great fun to drive; the perfect lap is neat and tidy, but you can get these cars sideways and be quick. Driving the car got me excited. Everyone else is in this professionally and so am I, you have fun when you’re driving but it’s much more fun when you’re driving at the front.”
Subaru Team USA is to field two cars in the GRC this season, Sverre Isachsen entering his third season with the squad and partnered again by crossover star Bucky Lasek. The pair will be joined for the X Games by Travis Pastrana who has rejoined Subaru for its Rally America programme this year. GRC has also announced that its 2014 events, except for XGames, will be broadcast on NBC in America.
Friends and family of Ryan Lawford are organising a charity karting event in memory of the young engineer and racer. To take place at Buckmore Park on March 8, the event has already got entries from teams formed by BTCC champion Andrew Jordan and former European Rallycross Champion Will Gollop. Teams of three can enter the event, more details here or here
Ahead of the start of the British championship season, the Swift Sport Championship is running another of its popular open test days, this time at Lydden on February 22.