Villeneuve’s Le Mans return with Vanwall is off

World Endurance Championship

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Jacques Villeneuve’s planned attempt at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours will not go ahead, his team has confirmed.

The 1997 Formula 1 world champion was previously named on the entry list for this year’s running of the endurance classic. He has shared Vanwall’s sole Vandervell 680 hypercar with team mates Tom Dillmann and Esteban Guerrieri since the World Endurance Championship season began in March.

However the ByKolles-run team today announced a change in its line-up for Le Mans in a social media post. It named Tristan Vaultier as Villeneuve’s replacement.

The team has endured a difficult start to the season. A suspension problem in the season-opener at Sebring meant they finished a distance 30th, 24 laps off the race-winning Toyota. Villeneuve crashed out of the following round at Autodromo do Algarve after suffering a brake fire.

The team also failed to finish at Spa, where Villeneuve tangled with Francesco Castellacci in his GTE Am class Spirit of Race Ferrari 488.

Villeneuve was due to make his first start in the race since his two appearances for Peugeot in 2007 and 2008.

Vautier made his Le Mans debut in last year’s race, finishing 21st in the LMP2 class for ARC Bratislava in an ORECA shared with Miro Konopka and Bent Viscaal.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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3 comments on “Villeneuve’s Le Mans return with Vanwall is off”

  1. Is there a reason for the change?

    1. Sportscar365 quotes Kolles as saying; “The situation is that we don’t feel that he [Villeneuve] is ready to go to Le Mans. His wife is pregnant and they are expecting the baby now, at the beginning of June. Le Mans is a big race. We cannot take the risk. For personal reasons and due to the fact that also the mileage is lacking, we decided to have a new driver which will be Tristan Vautier.”

      Makes sense.

      1. He has generally been very slow this season. Like a second off the pace of his co drivers at times. Might have influenced the decision.

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