Almost from the moment he first sat behind the wheel of a racing car, Jacques Villeneuve has been setting records.
But the perfect season record the 1997 Formula One champion established at the Hungarian Grand Prix last week is probably one that he would have preferred to avoid. In the 11 races staged so far, he has not yet managed to cross the finish line. In Hungary, the 28-year-old from St-Jean-surRichelieu, Que., coasted to a stop with a busted clutch 17 laps from the end of the 77-lap circuit. “For a while, it looked as if we might at least finish this one,” Villeneuve muttered as he clambered from his car.
“It’s all very, very frustrating.”
So frustrating, in fact, that he is contemplating leaving the British American Racing team that is owned and managed by his longtime manager and close friend, Craig Pollock.
In the wake of the Hungarian event, Villeneuve insisted he wanted to continue with the BAR team. “But,” he added, “if they don’t achieve a sufficient level to make progress and become champions, I would leave.” Still one of Grand Prix racing’s most
sought-after drivers, Villeneuve wouldn’t have a problem finding a new team. And Pollock admits he will not stand in his way. “If we aren’t competitive by the end of next year,” he said, “I won’t want to keep Jacques.”
Bran Van goes big time
The members of the eclectic hip-hop band Bran Van 3000 are having quite a year.
First, the Montreal-based group wrote a song for a Gap television commercial. Then, their 1998 song Drinking in L.A. was selected for a Rolling Rock beer ad, which was broadcast on British television at the end of June. Viewers fell in love with the tune and it raced up the UK pop
charts to its current spot at No. 3. And last week, the nine-member ensemble, led by founder James Di Salvo, 30, appeared on the famous BBC-TV music show Top of the Pops.
This isn’t Di Salvo’s first brush with TV fame. Before launching a second career in music, he was a Hollywood director who made videos for the likes of jazz star Branford Marsalis and Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan. After an attempt at filmmaking failed, Di Salvo returned to Montreal and started the band. “I’ll try anything once,” he says. Stay tuned.
A golfing phenom
favourite home video game is Tiger Woods’s signature golf game—so imagine his surprise when he found himself challenging his 23-year-old hero for the PGA championship last week. Garcia, 19, a native of Castellón, Spain, who turned professional after the 1999 Masters, won over the spectators in Medinah, 111., with his exuberance. “The crowds were amazing,” says Garcia, who drew cheers and applause. “I have no words to say what they did to me.” And his final score, only one stroke behind Woods, marked the beginning of what could be a great golfing rivalry. “I’m a little unhappy I didn’t win,” says Garcia, who plays at the Mediterraneo Club de Golf in Borriol, Spain, where his father, Victor, is a golf pro. “But inside of me, I feel like I won.”
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