Canadian Formula One racing legend Jacques Villeneuve is in the South Okanagan to finalize the design of a race track near Oliver.

The project is a joint venture between the Area 27 Motorsports Country Club and the Osoyoos Indian Band.

Area 27 motosports track designed by Jacques Villeneuve

An overview of the Area 27 track designed by Jacques Villeneuve. (Area 27 Motorsports Country Club)

Villeneuve says the site, located just southeast of Oliver, is a good fit for a track and the weather is also reliable.

"That allows the use of a race track for many, many months of the year and it is needed," he said. "There are a lot of people with nice cars that want to drive on good tracks that have to go down to the states."

Today Villeneuve is touring the site of the future race track with investors and members of Area 27. The plan is to build a racetrack and a country club so people with high-end sports cars can push their vehicles to the limit.

"The design of the track; we also try to make it exciting and fun to drive. There is a very natural feel to the land and the track that just follows the land basically," said Villeneuve.

Area 27 Motorsports Country Club proposed race track

The new track is expected to open by 2016. (Area 27 Motorsports Country Club)

The project is awaiting final permits. Organizers want to begin building the track this spring in hopes that drivers can begin driving it next year. 

Jacques Villeneuve joined motorsports' elite after winning the 1995 CART championship, the 1995 Indianapolis 500 and the 1997 Formula One World Championship.


  • An earlier version of this story mistakenly said the track is planned for a location near Osoyoos. It is actually planned for a location southeast of Oliver.
    Mar 02, 2015 12:39 PM PT
with files from the CBC's Brady Strachan