Auto Racing Driver. Born in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec and raised in Berthierville, Villeneuve began his career in motorsports racing snowmobiles. In 1974 he moved into the Atlantic Formula series where he quickly came to dominate after winning his first race in 1975. In 1977 he made his debut in Formula 1 and a year later won his first series race at the Canada Grand Prix. Making a total of 67 starts and winning six races in his six season career in Formula 1, his aggressive racing style quickly made him a household name and hero to many in Canada. In the 1979 season, he finished second in the championship barely missing first place to his teammate Jody Scheckter. On May 8, 1982, Villeneuve was qualifying for Belgium Grand Prix at Circuit Zolder when he was fatally injured in a crash after hitting the back of the car being driven by Jochen Mass and succumbed to his injuries a short time later. Following a massive funeral that was attended by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Quebec Premier Rene Levesque, and Montreal Mayor Jean Drapeau, Villeneuve was cremated and his ashes returned to his wife. Following his death, the racetrack at Île Notre-Dame in Montreal was renamed Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in his memory and in 1988 the Musée Gilles-Villeneuve was opened in Berthierville. In 1993 he was inducted into the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame. In 1997 Canada honored him with a commemorative postage stamp. In addition to his own career, his brother, Jacques, and son, Jacques, both pursued careers in motorsports.
Bio by: G.Photographer
On se souvient des héros, mais les légendes ne meurent jamais.