Villeneuve completes Indianapolis refresher programme

Villeneuve completes Indianapolis refresher programme

30 April 2014 – 1997 Formula 1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve has completed his mandatory Indianapolis 500 refresher programme, meaning that the Canadian is now cleared to participate in practice for the iconic event.

Villeneuve won the Indianapolis 500 in 1995 but was required to complete the refresher programme in order to be permitted to participate in the event, which takes place at the end of May.

Villeneuve, completed 83 laps of the circuit for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports before his day was cut short due to rain. He managed a best lap of 217.742mph.

"It took a while to get there," he said. "The first few laps were surprising because it felt like I was going fast and I looked and it was 180 [mph]. "I thought, 'There's still a long way to go,' and then 190. And another 10 laps I started getting in the rhythm, and once you start going flat all around it becomes easy. I think your brain, your vision just needs to get used to driving at speed.

"We weren't trimmed out yet, but there was no point with the wind and the track was very green. At the end, we even managed to work on the mechanical set-up of the car and that made it nicer."

NASCAR driver Kurt Busch also took part in the day's running as he bids to make his debut in the race for Andretti Autosport.

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