Motor racing champ's gear to be auctioned in North Tyneside

The racing suit worn by Jacques Villeneuve when he won the Formula One world championship title is to be auctioned at Village Auctions in Benton

 

The racing suit worn by Jacques Villeneuve when he won the Formula One world championship title is to be auctioned on Tyneside.

Villeneuve took the title in 1997 at the European Grand Prix at Jerez in Spain.

The race was the championship decider between Michael Schumacher and Villeneuve, who collided during the race.

The racing overalls the champion wore on that day are being offered for sale by Village Auctions on May 17 at its salerooms on North Tyneside industrial estate at Benton.

An estimate of £5,000 has been placed on the suit, which has come from a North East vendor.

The suit is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by Frank Williams, for whose team Villeneuve raced.

“This is an exceptionally rare item. The suit is in perfect condition,” said auctioneer Malcolm Barry.

Villeneuve was born in Quebec in Canada to aspiring Formula One driver Gilles Villeneuve and his wife Joann. When Villeneuve was 11 years old, his father was killed during the qualifying session for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix.

Jacques Villeneuve signed a two-year contract with Williams and in 1997 he was the team’s lead driver.

He found himself battling for the title with then double world champion Michael Schumacher. The title was decided in Jerez with Villeneuve winning the world championship in only his second season, but the race was remembered for a collision between himself and Schumacher.

Musician Villeneuve released his first album, titled Private Paradise, in 2007 and has been engaged to Australian singer Dannii Minogue and to American ballerina Ellen Green.

In the same sale are two carved wooden red devils, which Mr Barry said are believed to be around 100 years old. They are rated at around £2,000.

Mr Barry said that interest is expected from Manchester United fans, despite the poor season suffered by the team whose nickname is the Red Devils.

The club has been informed of the sale of the figures, which may have originally been part of a ship.

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