In asserting Undertaking 91 final 12 months, Trackhouse co-owner Justin Marks stated its intentions had been to area “world class” drivers from different racing disciplines to compete within the highest stage of NASCAR.
The 2007 F1 champion was the programme’s first driver, debuting final 12 months on the 21 August Cup race at Watkins Glen Worldwide.
The Finn ran as excessive as eighth throughout a spherical of pit stops till he crashed out late following a late-race restart, injuring his wrist after a collision despatched his automobile in a tire barrier.
“I had a incredible time in NASCAR,” stated Raikkonen. “There was loads to study in a really brief period of time, however everybody was very useful, the competitors was an enormous problem.
“This time I get to race on a monitor I’m aware of so there gained’t be as steep of a studying curve. I need to have enjoyable, but in addition do in addition to we are able to.”
Not like the Watkins Glen monitor, Raikkonen is aware of COTA, racing on the highway course eight instances throughout his System 1 profession.
The final of Raikkonen’s 21 F1 victories got here at COTA in 2018 with Ferrari.
Kimi Raikkonen, TrackHouse Racing, Recogni Chevrolet Camaro
Picture by: Matthew T. Thacker / NKP / Motorsport Images
Raikkonen will race the #91 Onx/iLOQ Chevrolet Camaro at COTA fielded by a Trackhouse crew led by 23-time wining crew chief Darian Grubb, who gained a Cup Collection title with Tony Stewart in 2011.
“Once we introduced Kimi final 12 months I stated he was the worldwide celebrity I had in thoughts once we created Undertaking 91. I feel you noticed the fan reception the world over and Kimi’s efficiency within the automobile was proof of the idea,” Marks stated.
“Kimi’s following is very large and it’s nice for NASCAR, Trackhouse plus I feel Kimi actually enjoys our racing.”
Marks stated Raikkonen will once more go to the store within the days earlier than the Austin, Texas occasion, however no check periods are deliberate earlier than the COTA race.
“I’m positive there are numerous drivers that want to have an opportunity to attempt NASCAR,” stated Raikkonen.
“It’s not very straightforward, so perhaps it is going to open some doorways sooner or later for extra possibilities to try to get extra Europeans into the game.”
The Finn retired from F1 in 2021 after competing with the Sauber, McLaren, Ferrari and Lotus groups since he began in 2001. His spotlight got here in 2007 when he gained the title with Ferrari.
He additionally competed within the Xfinity and Truck Collection races at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Could 2011.
Trackhouse already fields two full-time Cup Collection groups with drivers Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez.
Marks stated that NASCAR’s elevated schedule of highway course races permits him to supply drives to high-profile European stars, as their transition to the Subsequent Gen automobile – which debuted final season – wouldn’t be as tough getting ready for an oval occasion.