Earlier this week we learned about Trackhouse Racing’s Project 91 — a third car fielded by the NASCAR team exclusively reserved for drivers from around the motorsport world. One of those drivers — the only one scheduled to run the #91 Camaro this season — will be none other than Kimi Räikkönen, the former Ferrari champ himself confirmed in a livestream.
Räikkönen will participate at the August 21 Cup Series race at Watkins Glen. It’s not his first foray into stock car racing, as the Finn participated in Nationwide and Truck Series races at Charlotte in 2011, during his two-year break from Formula 1. In a livestream with Trackhouse Racing and NASCAR, Räikkönen said discussions of trying his hand at a Next-Gen car began late last year, and the deal recently came together:
“We had more talks about it, how would it work, where the race would be, and all sorts of other things.
“There’s a lot of things involved, and it all made sense for me. It’s one race, 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].
“Hopefully we have a good race and good fun. Obviously it’s a new car and I’ve never been at the track. But I’m sure we can figure it out.”
Both of the 2007 F1 champion’s previous NASCAR engagements came on oval courses. This Watkins Glen race will mark his first road course stint, which one would imagine Räikkönen would naturally take to.
He’s not the only driver Trackhouse is eyeing for its third car, alongside Daniel Suárez and Ross Chastain. Team co-owner Justin Marks wants to attract more talent from the global motorsports, from F1 to MotoGP, IndyCar, sports car racing and rallying. As the case with the Iceman has proven, he’s willing to go great lengths to make it happen, too; Marks visited Räikkönen’s home in Switzerland to seal the deal. Räikkönen expects to conduct at least one test before the race weekend in August, in addition to familiarizing himself through Trackhouse’s simulator.