DATE OF INDUCTION: February 15th 2020
CAREER SPAN: 1969-2016
COMPETITION TYPE: Ovals
BRANDS RACED: Ski-Doo, Alouette, Skiroule, Kawasaki, Polaris
AGE AT INDUCTION: 66
Jacques Villeneuve’s place in the history of snowmobile oval racing is both legendary and profound. It began in 1969 at age 16 in Berthierville, Quebec, and concluded 47 years later when he retired following the 2016 Grand Prix de Valcourt. In between, Villeneuve experienced and achieved immeasurable greatness: “Jocko” was the first three-time Eagle River World Champion; had factory rides with Alloutte, Skiroule, Kawasaki and Ski-Doo; and scored wins in every premier oval class and circuit, and at every major venue in North America.
Villeneuve’s star first rose in 1974 when he joined his older brother Gilles on the Allouette factory team to compete in Sno Pro, the premier oval class of the era. Fast, cunning and willing to take risks in order to win; Jocko established a pattern he never strayed from. His successes aboard cutting-edge IFS sleds he helped develop ushered in in a new era of race sled development. When he signed with factory Ski-Doo in 1979, it set in motion a 39-year relationship that delivered remarkable success, including World Championship titles in 1980, 1982 and 1986; three Grand Prix de Valcourt and Canadian Power Toboggan championships; two Eastern Pro Tour championships; the 1987 Snow Week Racer of the Year title; and victories in every year of his career.
A creative and enterprising innovator, Villeneuve mastered every major sled innovation during his long career, including winning at the highest level beginning with leaf-spring machines in Sno Pro in the early 1970s; IFS machines and twin- track sleds in Formula I during the mid-1970s through the mid-1990s; and on Champ 440 sleds through the 2000s. Respected and feared by his competitors, Villeneuve raced as aggressively at age 63 as he did at 23, with a fearless desire to win that had no bounds and never waivered. He now lives in St-Cuthbert, Quebec.
3-Time Eagle River World Champion (1980, 1982, 1986) • 3-Time Grand Prix de Valcourt Champion (1986, 2005, 2006) • 3-Time Canadian Power Toboggan Champion (1974, 1987, 2006) • Eastern Pro-Tour Champion (2005, 2006) • Snow Week Racer of the Year (1987)