Ex-Formula 1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve will return to sports car racing in the inaugural City Challenge event on the streets of Baku in Azerbaijan next month.
The former Peugeot Le Mans 24 Hours driver, whose last sports car start came at the wheel of a Mosler in the 2009 Spa 24 Hours, will race a Porsche 911 GT3-R on the Baku street circuit on Oct. 6-7. Villeneuve will share the car, which is likely to be fielded by the Muhlner Motorsport squad, with fellow grand prix veteran Jos Verstappen.
Villeneuve, who has raced three times in V8 Supercars in Australia and twice in the NASCAR Nationwide Series so far this year, said: "I know Jos from the time we raced together in F1. He hasn't been racing much for the past couple of years, but I am sure he will be just as determined to go out, do well and have a great time in Baku as I am."
The event in Baku, to be held on a 1.3-mile circuit laid out around the Azerbaijan government building, is a pilot fixture for the City Challenge, which will over the next two years grow into a full series held over the winter months.
Series organiser Hartmut Beyer, who created the Bucharest street race of 2007-08, is planning five city-centre races next year and 10 to 12 the season after.
The Baku event and future City Challenge rounds will be run to GT3 regulations. Each event will be made up of two one-driver qualifying sprints and a one-hour main race for two drivers.
Teams so far confirmed for Baku include Muhlner, the Vita4One BMW squad and its sister Italian operation, which runs Ferraris, and three teams fielding Lamborghini Gallardos, Reiter Engineering, Leipert Motorsport and GRT Grasser Racing.