Jacques Couture

Inducted 2000

A fine competitor who won many formula car and sedan races and championships, and who continues to teach the art and techniques of motor racing, Jacques Couture won the Canadian Driving Championship during a long and varied career. Jacques established the first racing school in North America — the Jim Russell school at Le Circuit/Mont Tremblant in Quebec — and was the instructor who taught the young Gilles Villeneuve how to race. He was a mentor to many other than Villeneuve and was instrumental, for instance, in helping David McConnell (of the Montreal Star McConnells) to reach the Formula 2 level in Europe. Jacques today lives happily in California, looking for another Villeneuve.

Image via The Chicane


  1. Alex McNamee says:

    Knew Jacques when we lived on Mclynn St. In Montreal. Would like to reconnect with him. I’m married with 3 children, 5 grandchildren and have lived in Los Angeles, Europe and now back in Hudson, Quebec . Last saw his brother Pierre some years before he died when he stayed at my villa in the in St. Agathe. (In the 60’s). Ran into Norm Dowling in 1996 and we reminisced..

    Jacques, a lot of water has run under the bridge since I last saw you. (45/ 50 years ago) . See a lot of an old mutual friend Derek Johnson .

    Kind Regards,

  2. William D'Emilio, Jr. says:

    Jacque was my instructor at JJRS in 1970..(due to my meeting Lucien LeCompte at the NY Auto show who signed me up for the school)…his intense focus and attention to detail was inspiring and i learned quickly to relax and let the car do the work…smoothness & speed were integral..(the art of “just enough” !!)
    to this day i remember every curve of le circuit at mt tremblant… the brilliant design of the Lotus 51used as the school car..as well as the professional training Jacque provided

  3. Rob Klyver says:

    Jacques is well and spents a fair amount of time in Alaska – see link for his photo.

    My son put up a website for him since he’s looking at selling his Alaska cabin.


  4. Paul Polidoro says:

    would like to connect with anyone from my racing days with the MONTREAL MOTOR RACING CLUB at St Eugene and the Circuit Mont Trembvlant

    • william D'Emilio says:

      Ironically my arrival at le circuit a day early for the 3 day course…brought me to view Jacque winning the final round of the formula B championship..while standing next to his car owner…the next day the track was hot & quiet making the previous day’s activities a contrast in reality…jacque was a true champion in that he gave us all an equal opportunity to master the art of car control..through self control !! the Lotus 51was a fantastic teacher in and of itself..illustrating Colin Chapman’s brilliance and bringing awareness that the best you could do as a driver was to not limit the car’s potential…a lesson lasting a lifetime

      • Ben Kruidbos says:

        William D’Emilio, is the Lucien Lecompte you met in NY the same driver who raced in the early 1970’s in Canada?

        • william demilio says:

          Lucien was the PR guy for JRRS at the NY auto show…he sold me the school with a girl on his lap and after he took my $50/USD deposit..he told me to watch the booth while they went for coffee…so I knew he was a fast mover but I didn’t know he was a race car driver until now
          PS: did such a good job promoting the school the guy selling Abarth across the way offered me $600 to sell at his booth ..but I was taking an electronics course at the time so I has to refuse

          • Ben kruidbos says:

            I’m trying to reach him about some photos I have. If anyone knows how I may contact him please email me bkruidbos at gmail

  5. Maxime Tourangeau says:

    My mother was married with Jacques many years ago when he was doing some racing. She was called “Mimi Couture” at the time. Her real name was Micheline Larivée. I’m really curious and interested about that period of her life. I’m looking for anyone who would have pictures of her or them at that time or stories they would like to share.
    My emails : maxime.larivee-tourangeau@hec.ca or maxime.tourangeau@bdc.ca

  6. Michael martin says:

    I attended the school at Mont trembling I think 79.did the series in 80 and also runoffs at Ontario motor roadway and Laguna seca. I heard Jacque is in Alaska. I travel to Alaska often for business.would like to connect with him.

  7. Took the racing school at St Jovite in 1974 and entered the championship series the following year. Jaques was the chief instructor then along with Vince and both were great to learn from -patient and very detailed in instruction. Raced there till 1978 and without doubt was the most unforgettable experience of my life. Met some great people as well and perhaps there are drivers who raced in this period who rememb Dick Myers from California ,Tom Stewart (who was unfortunately killed in a Formula Atlantic race in 1980 at Limerock) and was a really nice kid,we kept in touch after he left Jim Russell up until he was killed. Jack Thompson, Brian Malcolm,Jim Smith are some of the other guys I remember. It was a great time and one I think about often.Wish I could do it again.

  8. Jack Thompson says:

    He taught me well. My idol. JRRS, St. Jovite, !973-1978. I always stayed at Cuttles and we would all meet for drinks at the RED DOOR….excuse me….La Port Rouge.

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