After recording a number of podium finishes within the championship, together with a second place on the Italian observe close to Rome final yr, 11-times Grand Prix winner Villeneuve took the landmark win for the Academy Motorsport/Alex Caffi Motorsport crew from second on the grid.
The Canadian’s race was not with out drama, nevertheless, as he was adjudged to have moved forward of poleman Alon Day on the rolling begin, incomes a five-second penalty.
After passing Day beneath braking for the primary nook, 50-year-old Villeneuve pulled away from the opposition and took a 5.2 second lead beginning the ultimate lap.
Because the chequered flag flew, his benefit had prolonged to six.3s over someday GP2 racer Vittorio Ghirelli (Hendriks Motorsport), who was busy battling with Gianmarco Ercoli (CAAL Racing) till the end.
A NASCAR Euro Collection common since 2019, Villeneuve has a greatest end of third from 9 begins in NASCAR’s second-tier Xfinity Collection between 2008 and 2012.
“Lastly, it’s been a very long time coming,” stated Villeneuve, who gained the 1995 Indianapolis 500 earlier than making a profitable change to F1 with Williams in 1996.
“We’ve got been preventing on the entrance quite a bit and the automotive was good within the race. We had a tough time in observe, however in qualifying the automotive was actually wonderful.
“I received a penalty firstly, I’m unsure why as a result of the principles say ‘go’ on inexperienced – so I will need to have missed one thing within the rulebook.
Race winner Jacques Villeneuve, Academy Motosport / Alex Caffi Motosport
Picture by: ErregìMEDIA
“However [it was] a great factor I jumped the beginning as a result of I didn’t have the horsepower towards Alon, which was apparent till Flip 1.
“I suppose having raced a lot on the ovals within the States, I didn’t need to carry on the skin of Flip 1 there. I simply went for it and Alon lifted.”
There was drama within the factors race too, as collection chief Loris Hezemans punted Time out of the race. Hezemans may solely end 10th after a drive-through penalty, permitting Ghirelli to shut inside 5 factors of him forward of Sunday’s closing spherical.
Hezemans, 24, plans to compete in all the NASCAR Cup Series’ road course events in 2022 for the brand new Staff Hezeberg squad, and can race at different oval tracks as soon as he’s permitted by NASCAR.
Villeneuve examined the crew’s Subsequent Gen automotive on the Charlotte Roval earlier this month, setting the 12th quickest time, but additionally broken it towards the wall rejoining the oval part.