When he thought he was out, they pulled him back. Kimi Raikkonen will wear the race suit again less than a year after leaving Formula 1 to compete in this year’s NASCAR Cup series.
The Finnish driver will be offered the opportunity to participate in NASCAR by Project91, a program designed to give the stars of international competitions the opportunity to participate. Raikkonen, the first driver to be announced as part of the program, will drive the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 91 on August 21, 2022 in the NASCAR Cup Series at the Watkins Glen International Road Course.
Justin Marx, one of the founders of Project91, said, “Kimi Raikkonen was the first driver I thought of when I created PROJECT91.” “Kimi is a world-famous driver, he has a lot of talent and fans. We talked for a long time, and like us, he is already preparing for Watkins Glen. “
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Kimi Raikkonen. Watkins Glen. PROJECT 91.
The ice man is coming back. pic.twitter.com/4SSrQPjynQ
– PROJECT91 (@ THProject91) May 26, 2022
Raikkonen has never driven a car in the NASCAR Cup series before, but has experience working with cars. He previously competed in the 2011 Charlotte Motor Speedway at the Xfinity and Truck Series.
“I didn’t plan to compete again, but Justin came to my house in Switzerland and I realized how important it is to create the best program,” said Raikkonen. “It will be fun, but I take it very seriously. I know how competitive the NASCAR Cup series is and it will be a big test. ”
Project91 is a program run by Trackhouse Entertainment Group, which was founded by former host Justin Marx and Grammy Award winner Pitbull. Trackhouse Racing currently produces cars for the Daniel Suarez (№ 99) and Ross Chastain (№ 1) in the Cup series, but his № 91 is designed for international racing stars as a way to “open the door for world champions”. has begun the process of becoming an internationally recognized competition brand, ”said Marx Associated Press.
Marx assured that the success of NexGen NASCAR has significantly reduced the learning curve, which allows international drivers of other series to control the steering wheel. This step, unlike Indycar, which attracts talent from all over the world, drivers can give way to mostly American sports.
This idea seems attractive to the existing NASCAR field, said Cup driver Ryan Blany. AP it will be great for the sport, but warns Raikkonen, as well as adapting to driving a car known as the Ice Man, will still be a big challenge.
“Yes, the freezer,” Blanie said. “I’m a big fan and I loved growing up and watching the F1 race. I think it’s a great idea. “