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Villeneuve returning to Indy 500

Driver Jacques Villeneuve during practice for the NAPA Auto Parts 200 Nationwide Series NASCAR race in Montreal, August 17, 2012. REUTERS/Ol
Driver Jacques Villeneuve during practice for the NAPA Auto Parts 200 Nationwide Series NASCAR race in Montreal, August 17, 2012. REUTERS/Ol

(Reuters) - Former Formula One world champion Jacques Villeneuve is taking a crack at winning another Indianapolis 500 by joining Schmidt Peterson Motorsports to race in the famed event he won in 1995, the team announced on Wednesday.

Villeneuve, 42, left the circuit after winning his first Indy 500 and the CART championship that year and has not started an IndyCar race since.

"We started talking not long ago, actually a few weeks ago," said the Canadian of the May 25 race. "It all went fast.

"The discussions happened at the right time because I'd been watching the IndyCars last year, and it looked extremely exciting with the new cars, to the point where I was angry and jealous that I wasn't racing. So that got me going again."

The Quebec native left for F1 after his triumphant 1995 season and competed from 1996 through 2006, winning the world championship in 1997.

Villeneuve moved to stock cars in 2007 and has run in a variety of series including NASCAR's Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Le Mans as well as sports cars.

Villeneuve said the new-style IndyCars and the aggressive racing style got him itching to return.

"When I started seeing that last year, I started getting excited again, just because the racing was amazing, the cars looked fast and aggressive, it looked hard on the drivers, and the battles were fierce, which is all what I love about racing," he said.

(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Gene Cherry)

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