The Ottawa Citizen from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on August 24, 1995 · 112
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The Ottawa Citizen from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada · 112

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Issue Date:
Thursday, August 24, 1995
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Like his famous Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, Thursday, July 6: The IndyCar race weekend begins here tomorrow afternoon. Ten races into the 1995 championship series, Jacques Vil-leneuve, of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, has eighty-one points in the standings; he is tied for first place with the American driver Robby Gordon. Villeneuve's home for the next four days, his mo-torhome, is perched on a hill within the four-mile twisting, rising, falling racetrack called Road America. Thursday is the last day for the drivers to relax. Tomorrow, practice and qualifying runs get under way for Sunday's race. At the moment, Jacques Villeneuve is standing still outside in the rain, looking a little contrite as he inspects the mo-torhome parked near his own. It belongs to Stefan Johannson, another race-car driver, and it's been badly splattered with mud. Villeneuve has just been blasting about the hillside, spinning doughnuts on the gravel and wet grass in his black 1995 Ford Mustang. The evidence suggests a driving error. For Jacques Villeneuve, who is twenty-four and looks even younger, who was last year's IndyCar Rookie of the Year, this year's winner of the Indianapolis 500, and is still the youngest driver on the IndyCar circuit, this doesn't happen much. father, Indy champ Jacques Villeneuve loves speed -but this Villeneuve is never out of control Road America, Friday: The practice session, in which the drivers and engineers fine-tune their cars to suit the track at hand, begins at 1 1 a.m. At its conclusion, Villeneuve has posted the second-fastest time, eating up the twists and turns at an average speed of 138.320 mph. His engineers are clearly on the right track with the car's set-up, principally its weight distribution, the ratios of its six forward gears, the engine tuning, the ride height and suspension settings, and the angle of the front and rear wings - inverted airplane wings which generate down force that helps stick the car firmly to the track. Every set-up alternative is a compromise. Lower gear ratios improve acceleration but lower top speed; stiffer suspension helps the car through some turns but might make it skitter over the bumps; and higher down force helps the car grip the road but slows it down and makes it trickier to handle. Even though this was only a practice session, Villeneuve and eleven other drivers have eclipsed last year's track record. A recent repaying has by Jacob Richie

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