Raikkonen returns to race at NASCAR at Watkins Glen with the Trackhouse

Raikkonen will compete in Trackhouse Racing for the Watkins Glen Road Race on August 21, driving a Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 with teammates Daniel Suarez and Ross Chastain.

It will mark Raikkonen’s first appearance in a motorsport event since he asked for time for his 20-year F1 career last December with his last appearance for the Alfa Romeo at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The 2007 F1 World Champion has a history at NASCAR, taking part in a Nationwide Series – now known as the Xfinity Series – and a 2011 Truck Series race with Kyle Busch Motorsports during his F1 weekend.

Kimi Raikkonen ran in NASCAR during his F1 break in 2011

Kimi Raikkonen ran in NASCAR during his F1 break in 2011

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Raikkonen explained that at first he did not look at any race “very seriously” after leaving F1, only to speed up talks with Trackside Racing and lead to the entry of Watkins Glen.

“We had more discussions about it, how it would work, where the fight would be and everything else,” Raikkonen said. “There are a lot of things involved and everything made sense to me.

“It’s a fight, so it made sense for all of us as a family. I always enjoyed it when I had my few races [in the United States].

“We hope to have a good match and good fun. Obviously it is a new car and I have never been to the track. “But I’m sure we can understand that.”

Raikkonen’s entry into Trackhouse Racing comes as part of the team’s Project91 initiative, which seeks to expand NASCAR ‘s reach by dedicating # 91 entry to international racing drivers. Along with Chastain and Suarez, the Trackhouse will have three drivers from three different countries competing in the Watkins Glen race.

“I’ve been a big fan of Kimi for a long time, I’ve been following his career since he started Formula 1 with Sauber,” said Trackhouse owner Justin Marks.

“One of the great moments of my career as a Formula 1 fan was that I was able to compete against Kimi in Charlotte in 2011.

“I knew he was interested in NASCAR and had done it in the past, and I thought that if I explained to him what this project was, he would be interested in becoming part of it.”

Kimi Raikkonen ran in NASCAR during his F1 break in 2011

Kimi Raikkonen ran in NASCAR during his F1 break in 2011

Photo by: Getty Images

The plan for Raikkonen will be to go to the United States long enough before the race to complete a test drive in the Chevrolet, as well as drive the team simulator.

Marx visited Raikkonen at his home in Switzerland to talk about the deal and “sold the whole thing well,” according to the Finn.

Raikkonen said that although there were opportunities to make his return earlier this year, he wanted to give himself enough time to prepare for the Watkins Glen Cup match.

“Obviously there were choices to do more this year, but I think it all came a little too fast, to try to do it as best we can on all sides,” Raikkonen said. “I think it was better to wait until this match, so that we can prepare for everything and at least have done the job 100% correctly and what the result is, no one knows. We will at least give ourselves the best opportunity we can. .

“What follows after that?” I do not know, no one knows. We will try to make a good fight there and enjoy it and see what the future holds. I have no other plans.

“I have this right now and we will go from there.”

Raikkonen has tried a Cup car on a road trip in the past, driving a Dodge for Robby Gordon Motorsports at the Virginia International Raceway in 2011, but the test ended early when he left and tore his nose in wet grass.

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