RaceLab and Kartplex Announce New Villeneuve Kart

Canada’s most accomplished racing driver, 1997 Formula One World Champion Jacques Villeneuve, has officially entered the world of competitive kart racing by launching a signature chassis range bearing his famous family name. The Villeneuve Kart line is a new venture in partnership with Kartplex, the kart racing center located at the Area 27 Motorsports complex in Oliver, British Columbia in which Villeneuve is a founding partner.

“The team we have assembled is composed of dedicated karting professionals with decades of experience and a history of success at every level,” explained Jacques Villeneuve. “Craig Finer and his Kartplex group were chosen as the host of our pilot program because of their dedication, professionalism and passion. Together, we have sought out the top kart component and chassis manufacturers in the world to ensure that the Villeneuve chassis is a winner, right from the beginning.”

Villeneuve continued, “The facilities at Kartplex Area 27, including the state-of-the-art kart track that I designed, are suitable and challenging for racers of every level and will provide a great environment to help drivers develop their racing skills and their passion for motorsport. It is also a great place for families to spend time together enjoying their favorite sport.”

While excited to offer a competitive chassis option to the global market, Villeneuve is equally excited to add something to the Canadian karting scene including assistance for up-and-coming talent as well as a grassroots program that will take place at Area 27 for racers who may have never had the opportunity to try karting.

“I have been eager to give back to the sport that has provided so much passion and opportunity to myself personally and to my family,” continued the former Formula One World Champion. “Today, it is clear that karting is the foundation of a motorsports career, amateur and professional, so it is the natural place to start this process.”

The production of the chassis will take place in Italy where attention to detail and performance are the emphasis. The JV line will come equipped with highest quality components and accessories available and a reliable stock of parts and inventory will be warehoused in both Oliver and Vancouver, British Columbia with distribution globally being managed by RaceLab – Kartplex.

The Villeneuve branding and graphics, envisioned by legendary motorsport artist, Howie Idelson, show the refinement, energy and flair to do justice to this legendary motorsports name.

The JV Chassis line will include three models to start including:

JV JR – Mini Kart:

  • 28MM Tubing
  • 950mm Wheelbase
  • 30mm Axle
  • Magnesium Components
  • KG M20 Bodyworks w/Team JV Livery
  • Jecko Seat

JV1 – TAG/OK Chassis

  • 30mm Tubing
  • 1045mm Wheelbase
  • 50mm Axle
  • High Performance Self Adjusting Braking System
  • Magnesium Components
  • KG 506 Bodyworks w/Team JV Livery
  • Jecko Seat

JV6 – Shifter Chassis

  • 32mm Tubing
  • 1045mm Wheelbase
  • 50mm Axle
  • High Performance Self Adjusting Braking System
  • Magnesium Components
  • KG 506 Bodyworks w/Team JV Livery
  • Jecko Seat

Kartplex recently partnered with RaceLab bringing Steve Rickman in as Managing Director in the process. The further addition of Danny Kacic as Team Manager means that this relatively new team has decades of experience and championship level karting pedigree from its inception. The RaceLab team is working hard to ensure that Team Villeneuve drivers will have access to world class coaching, track-side support, tuning and logistics, no matter where they race in Canada or around North America.

“The launch of the Villeneuve karting brand represents the culmination of a lifelong dream for me. Six years ago, when the opportunity to partner with Bill and Jacques to create a world class kart racing center, right here in the Okanagan, I felt strongly that this could be huge for motorsports, and in particular, karting in BC and all across Canada,” explained Craig Finer. “It took three years of planning and careful consideration before we felt like we had the elements in place to ensure that Jacques’ legacy and his legendary family name were both done justice. We still have plenty of work to do, but now I think we are well along the path to achieving this goal. From the chassis design to the livery, to the partnership with RaceLab, we have exceeded all expectations for a new brand and I’m certain that we have created a winner, true to the Villeneuve tradition! The Villeneuve brand is now the jewel in the Kartplex/RaceLab crown. We are ready to fulfill the vision of becoming the top driver development and kart racing programs for speed demons of all ages, from beginner to winner.”

Finer and Rickman will be working on expanding markets for the JV range within Canada and internationally and are open to discussing commercial opportunities as well as any race team inquiries. For more information or to contact Kartplex / RaceLab, visit www.theracelab.com or www.kartplex.ca or call 250 488 4630.

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