Though he may have finished in the runner-up spot in only his second appearance in the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours, Jacques Villeneuve insisted he was far from satisfied, and has vowed to return to finish the job off.

The French-Canadian made his debut in the celebrated round-the-clock French classic in 2007, running second in the car he shared with Nicolas Minassian and fellow ex-grand prix ace Marc Gen? until mechanical woes cruelly put the trio out of contention less than two hours from the chequered flag.

This time around the #7 Peugeot did indeed finish in second position, but after leading for much of the first half of the race until the rain arrived, Villeneuve is well aware that it could - should - have been so much more.

"I'm disappointed," the 1997 Formula 1 World Champion reflected, speaking exclusively to Radio. "Obviously it's great to be on the podium, but we came here to win so second is disappointing.

"Mostly we did have the quickest car out there, but we weren't very happy with the set-up - we had a lot of understeer. That didn't allow us to build enough of a gap to the Audi of Tom [Kristensen], Dindo [Capello] and Allan [McNish] to afford to have a mechanical problem and still stay in front.

"We had some mechanical issues halfway through the race and again in the morning. At that point so we couldn't run at our full pace, so we lost a lot of time. The rain cost us a little bit, but what really lost us the race was having those mechanical issues."

Indeed, those problems cost Peugeot dear, as the #7 machine ultimately came home more than four-and-a-half minutes adrift of the race-winning Audi, despite setting a best lap time almost three seconds quicker.

That means the 37-year-old will have to return to the race frequently referred to as 'the toughest in the world' if he is to succeed in his ambition of equalling Graham Hill's record as the only driver to have ever triumphed in the F1 world championship, Indianapolis 500 and Le Mans 24 Hours.

"It would be great," he enthused of the possibility of going back again. "It will depend on the schedule, but as long as it can be in a potentially race-winning car, then sure. This is a race I want to win, so I'll have to come back at some point."

by Russell Atkins