HOT AUCTION: VILLENEUVE INDYCAR CHAMPIONSHIP WINNER HITS THE MARKET

Jacques Villeneuve in action on the Gold Coast in 1995, his IndyCar championship-winning season. Photo: an1images.com / Andrew Hall.

A Player’s-backed Team Green Reynard/Ford-Cosworth that helped take Jacques Villeneuve to the 1995 PPG IndyCar Series championship for his Australian team owner is to be auctioned next month in Indianapolis.

The 1995-spec Reynard won races at Miami and Cleveland to help the Canadian take victory in the championship in the same year he also won the Indianapolis 500 and at Road America.

The same car being auctioned also reportedly took pole positions in Villeneuve’s hands at Portland, Toronto and Vancouver.

The car placed up for auction is chassis Reynard 95I-04 and is not the car that Villeneuve drove to victory in that year’s Indianapolis 500.

The Indy-winning car – chassis 10 – sits in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum. The team reportedly had two chassis for the entire 1995 season.

The #27 Player’s Reynard was run by Team Green, the Indianapolis-based IndyCar squad run by Aussie Barry Green.

Villeneuve moved to Formula 1 in 1996 with Williams and won the World Championship a year later, while Green continued to run Team Green until selling out to an ownership group headed by Michael Andretti for 2003 that moved the squad from CART to the Indy Racing League.

The car placed up for auction comes with its 2.65-litre turbocharged Ford Cosworth XB V8 engine, which was rebuilt by Roush Racing in 2018.

The fact this car has an engine from the period is important – engines were leased to teams in that era and very few CART chassis of the era retain their original powerplants, which were taken back by the manufacturers.

The ex-Villeneuve car will be auctioned as part of Mecum Auctions’ Indianapolis event from May 13-21, more information is available here.

Watch the 1995 Cleveland CART race won by Villeneuve in the car being auctioned here:

With over 20 years in the Australian motorsport industry, Noonan is the head of V8 Sleuth. He’s held a range of roles including working in television with Seven and Ten, print media and public relations. With a specialty in Australian motorsport history, he’s known around racing paddocks as ’the Sleuth’ and started his motorsport media career in 1997.