Gilles Villeneuve and the Ferrari 312 T4 at Imola, 1979.Enlarge Photo
Formula 1 great Gilles Villeneuve was killed in a qualifying accident that preceded the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix. At the time of his death, the Canadian driver had racked up a total of six Grand Prix victories, half of which were earned in 1979 behind the wheel of a Ferrari 312 T4
Eulogized by former teammate Jody Scheckter as “the fastest driver in the history of motor racing,” Gilles Villeneuve left behind a wife, a daughter and a son. That son, Jacques, would grow up to follow in his father’s motor-racing footsteps, achieving a goal that eluded his father: Formula 1 World Champion.
As Autosport reports, Jacques Villeneuve will pay tribute to his father’s legacy by driving the Ferrari 312 T4 campaigned by his father during the 1979 season. The exhibition run will take place at Ferrari’s Fiorano test circuit on May 8, which marks the 30th anniversary of Gilles Villeneuve’s death.
The elder Villeneuve was best known for his fearlessness behind the wheel, and for his ability to coax maximum performance from even the most ill-handling of race cars. He was held in such high esteem by Ferrari that a bronze bust of Villeneuve sits just outside the entrance to Ferrari’s Fiorano test track.
In addition to winning the 1997 Formula 1 World Championship, Jacques Villeneuve is also known for winning the 1995 Indianapolis 500 and the 1995 Indy Car World Series title. In the years since his F1 retirement in 2006, Villeneuve has raced in everything from Le Mans through the NASCAR Sprint Cup series.
Image credit: ideogibs, licensed under CC 2.0