F1 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve finished tenth overall on his debut in the Andros Trophy at the weekend.

The Canadian, who has now given up on plans to return to F1, finished twelfth overall after the first day's racing in Val Thorens in his Skoda Fabia. He was then 14th in the second race, which left him in P10 overall when the two were combined.

"It's nothing like the cars I'm used to driving. You come into the corners sideways or even in reverse! The more you slide the more you have to accelerate: it's exactly the opposite of what you do in a single-seater," said the former Williams and BAR-Honda man.

"Obviously, it'll take me a little time to get used to it. In general, I like sports where there's plenty of sliding - skiing in particular. Unfortunately, even though I'm a Canadian, I've never driven on ice so it's all new to me."

Nevertheless though, he adapted quickly to the challenge: "It's never easy to learn the ropes," he continued. "On my very first outing I spent most of the time going wide and I ended up on the snowy parts of the track trying to find the limits and to understand what can happen if you go push too hard.

"The nice thing about the Andros Trophy though is that it's not very stressful in that you don't have to cover a large number of laps in succession. I'm happy with the way I've progressed and it was in the finals running mid-field that I learned the most. That way I was able to see how my main rivals were driving.

"However, being competitive is one thing, fighting at the front is another. From what I've learned, experience plays a major role in this type of racing, and that's what I've got to acquire first of all."

Villeneuve, who is also scheduled to compete in the l'Alpe d'Huez, Saint Di? and Super Besse rounds of the Andros Trophy, is currently working towards a future in NASCAR.


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