CART 1994 Championship

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In 1994 Villeneuve ignited his professional racing career in the CART PPG IndyCar World Series, racing for Player's Forstythe-Green Team. Driving a Reynard Ford, he was ranked 6th in the championship and was named "Rookie of the Year".

Young Villeneuve's first interview as an international racing driver was taken by James Allen. The comparison with his father was inevitable and would follow Villeneuve in his entire racing career.

Villeneuve's first IndyCar race was the "Australian FAI IndyCar Grand Prix" in the street circuit of Surfers Paradise. Villeneuve qualified 8th, but in a wet and tough race full of accidents, he retired on lap 35 due to a racing contact.

As he kept gaining racing experience Villeneuve had some awful accidents. His first major crash came at "Slick50 200", in Phoenix International Raceway when he hit at full speed Hiro Matsushita's car. Although nobody was hurt, Villeneuve was accused by press of reckless driving.

Footage of the accident by abc

On his first appearance at the "Brickyard" at "Indianapolis 500", Villeneuve qualified 4rth. It was an amazing result as his qualifying lap was the fastest ever run by a rookie for the historical race.
During the last laps Villeneuve was 3rd, a lap down on race leader Emerson Fittipaldi and 2nd was Al Unser Jr. 15 laps from the finish, Fittipaldi crashed out, however the remaining "yellow period" meant that Unser didn’t need to make any other pit stop although he was running out of fuel. Villeneuve finished 2nd in the race and suddenly the whole world was taking notice.

Post race interview. Villeneuve was asked how his father would have felt if he had been watching his son racing in Indy 500 as Al Unser did for his own son.

Villeneuve had one more scary accident at the "Marlboro 500" in Michigan Speedway, when he crashed on the wall after a tyre puncture.

His maiden victory took place at "Texaco/Havoline 200" in Elkhart Lake. During the final laps of "Road America", Villeneuve overtook both Paul Tracy and Al Unser jr. in one single move.

At the "Toyota Grand Prix of Monterrey" in Laguna Seca, Villeneuve qualified 2rd but he finished 3rd, completing a fantastic Rookie season in the 1994 IndyCar World Series.