Villeneuve for Townsville V8s

HE has won the Formula One and IndyCar driver's championships, and finished second in the Le Mans 24-hour endurance event.

And now Jacques Villeneuve has his sights set on next month's V8 Supercars round in Townsville.

The Canadian, presently competing in the NASCAR series in the US, jumped at the one-off invitation to replace the injured Greg Murphy.

"Your championship is world class and I will be thrilled to do this Townsville race," Villeneuve said. "I had a great experience on the Gold Coast back in October 2010."

On that occasion the 41-year-old, formerly engaged to Aussie pop star Danni Minogue, was a co-driver with Paul Dumbrell in the Gold Coast 600.

Despite his record, it would be a major surprise if Villeneuve challenged for a podium finish in Townsville, although he said he didn't want to just make up the numbers.

"Like all drivers, I am planning to first and foremost be competitive in the car as quickly as possible," he said.

The Townsville 400 will be held from July 6-8

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