There is sad news to report from suburban Montreal: Jacques Villeneuve, younger brother of the late Gilles and uncle to his namesake — former Indy 500, CART and Formula One champ Jacques Villeneuve — has been diagnosed with advanced intestinal cancer.
The 60-year-old Villeneuve, known commonly as “Uncle Jacques” to distinguish him from his nephew (who will race in this year’s Indianapolis 500 for the first time since winning it in 1995), announced the battle he’s undergoing to a group of Montreal-area media on Tuesday.
“What’s not encouraging is that I’ve been told that the cancer is well advanced. I have little chance of recovering,” Villeneuve sadly told the Journal de Montreal (per translated report by Auto123.com).
The elder Jacques is a former two-time Formula Atlantic and Can-Am series champion, and also competed in the former CART series, winning a1985 race at Wisconsin’s Road America road course.
His nephew and namesake also won at Road America in 1994 and 1995, the same year the younger Villeneuve won the Indy 500.
The elder Jacques also raced snowmobiles for more than two decades, earning a number of victories and championships, and even had a brief foray in Formula One. He had reportedly not been feeling well for several months and learned of his diagnosis last week after seeing a doctor and undergoing a battery of tests.
Villeneuve is expected to undergo treatment starting next week.
Sadly, Thursday was the 32nd anniversary of Gilles’ death in a crash during qualifying for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix.
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