Gilles Villeneuve was a Canadian racing driver. An enthusiast of cars and fast driving from an early age, he started in snowmobile racing. He moved into single seaters, winning the US and Canadian Formula Atlantic championships in 1976 before being offered a one-off drive with McLaren at the 1977 British Grand Prix. He was taken on by reigning world champions Ferrari and from 1978 to his death in 1982 drove for the Italian team. He won six Grand Prix races in a short career at the highest level. In 1979 he finished second by four points in the championship to teammate Jody Scheckter.