Motor sport

Kimi Raikkonen will return to NASCAR at Watkins Glen

Kimi Räikkönen is set to return to motorsport driving a Chevrolet Camaro NASCAR Cup at Watkins Glen in August.

The 2007 F1 world champion, who retired last season after 19 years in the sport, will join the Trackhouse Racing team as part of its PROJECT91 initiative, which will see guest drivers compete in unique NASCAR races.

The Finn has already said that he no longer had the idea of ​​racing, but was convinced by his past experience in a stock car.

“We had more discussions about it, how would it work, where would the race be and all sorts of other things,” Raikkonen said. “There are a lot of things at stake, and it all made sense to me.

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

“Hopefully we’ll have a good race and have fun. Obviously it’s a new car and I’ve never been on the track. But I’m sure we can figure it out.

Räikkönen leads a group in his previous NASCAR appearance 11 years ago

Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Räikkönen has competed in NASCAR before, during his F1 sabbatical in 2011. The Finn made his North Carolina debut, finishing 15th in the Truck Series, before moving to second tier Nationwide (now Xfinity) for a single race . Plans for further races were scrapped due to sponsorship issues.

The Trackhouse team, owned by popular rapper Pitbull, has been something of a revelation this season. After making its debut last year with a one-car team led by Daniel Suarez, the team took over Chip Ganassi’s stock car operation to develop its own, and has only gone up in power ever since.

The young team has also welcomed former Ganassi driver Ross Chastain, with the American winning two races and finishing in the top five overall so far this year.

The last F1 world champion to compete in a NASCAR race was Jacques Villeneuve at this year’s Daytona 500, with the French Canadian finishing 22nd.