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Jacques Villeneuve

Ex-F1 champion to drive for Vanwall in 2023 WEC

The entry list for the 2023 World Endurance Championship was released on Wednesday, with the most eye-catching disclosure featuring Jacques Villeneuve in a Vanwall.

Jacques Villeneuve
To news overview © XPBimages

Two of motorsport's most storied names will be teaming up in the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship, with Jacques Villeneuve set to take the wheel of a Hypercar bearing the Vanwall badge.

The official entry list for the 2023 WEC campaign, released on Wednesday, has the 1997 Formula 1 World Champion partnering Tom Dillmann and Esteban Guerrieri in a non-hybrid Vanwall Vandervell 680 entered by Dutch outfit ByKolles Racing.

Originally founded by Tony Vandervell in 1954, Vanwall competed during the first decade of the Formula 1 World Championship, taking the series' inaugural Constructors' Championship in 1958 with Stirling Moss and Tony Brooks both winning races.

However, the team also suffered the death of teammate Stuart Lewis-Evans at the season-ending Moroccan Grand Prix, and with Vandervell in increasingly poor health, he closed the team's doors in 1961.

Villeneuve's varied racing career

Since leaving F1 midway through 2006, Villeneuve has had a nomadic career, competing in sports car, NASCAR, V8 Supercars, Formula E and Rallycross championships.

The 51-year-old also made a return to the F1 cockpit last year, marking the 25th anniversary of his 1997 title win by taking the wheel of a 2021 Alpine A521 at Monza.

Having previously won the Indy 500 in 1995, the Canadian will be aiming to win his first 24 Hours of Le Mans, after having finished second in the 2008 edition at the wheel of a Peugeot 908.

A total of 13 vehicles and five major manufacturers will represented in the series' flagship Hypercar category, representing a significant increase on the 2022 WEC season, in which only three Hypercars competed in every race.

In addition to Villeneuve, the Hypercar category contains eight former F1 drivers, including Kamui Kobayashi, who retains his long-standing drive with Toyota, and Antonio Giovinazzi, who has joined Ferrari's nascent WEC programme.

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