Interesting news... Hopefully he does better there than in rally.Raikkonen goes NASCAR
Turun Sanomat 29.3 2011 15:07:20
The world champion of Formula One and current rally star Kimi Raikkonen expands his field of experiences: The 31-year-old Finn is going to race in the most popular North American race series NASCAR
The spectacular NASCAR debut for Raikkonen will be already before the becoming summer. Kimi is going to carry on with WRC Rally, too. He has agreed to do eight more rallies this year.
With the world famous newcomer driver there will be also a brand new team to race in NASCAR level: ICE1 Racing. Raikkonen joins forces with Foster Gillett. He will be the major partner of the Finnish team.
Among others Foster's family was the former majority owners of the Montreal Canadiens NHL franchise and the former co-owners of Liverpool football club.
Last year Foster Gillett was operating with Richard Petty Motorsport in NASCAR. Now he is about to break new ground with Raikkonen and ICE1 Racing.
– I’m really looking forward to get there to familiarize to the world of NASCAR. I have been following it for a long time. I know, it’s a very tough and open top racing series. I just love the American spirit of racing. It feels just great to get involved with that. Obviously, it will be very challenging and great fun for me, Raikkonen assures to Turun Sanomat.
As every rookie Raikkonen will start his NASCAR career with a race in World Camping Truck series. After that Kimi is going to Nationwide and will be adding the Sprint Cup series as well upon successful completion of the NASCAR approval process.
Most of the drivers are competing in all three main series.
The negotations for the car for ICE1 Racing team are just about to be finished. Raikkonen will race both in ovals and normal track circuits.
NASCAR has hit the top of popularity almost without Formula One champions. The latest F1 champion involved with NASCAR was Jacques Villeneuve a couple of years ago. The local hero Mario Andretti had his spell in NASCAR, too.
With Raikkonen going to NASCAR there will be exciting meeting of two previous McLaren team mates. Juan Pablo Montoya was a thundering pair of Raikkonen in 2005 and 2006. Now the Columbian is one the few F1 stars who have made it to top of this highly challenging class of motor sports.