Kimi Räikkönen, a 21-time winner and World Drivers Champion in the ranks of Formula One, will make his return to the NASCAR Cup Series later this month at Circuit of The Americas.
The 43-year-old driver will retain his position in the No. 91 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet Camaro for the first road course event of the year, in just the second start for the organization’s PROJECT91 program.
ONX and iLOQ will serve as primary sponsors of the No. 91 Chevrolet Camaro at Circuit of The Americas.
“I had a fantastic time in NASCAR,” said Räikkönen. “There was a lot to learn in a very short amount of time, but everyone was very helpful, the competition was a big challenge. This time I get to race on a track I am familiar with so there won’t be as steep of a learning curve. I want to have fun, but also do as well as we can.”
Last August, Räikkönen made his NASCAR Cup Series debut for Trackhouse Racing and PROJECT91 at Watkins Glen International. The Espoo, Finland native started from 27th but was caught up in a mid-race accident, relegating him to a finish of 37th.
During the event, Räikkönen averaged a running position of 28th-place, per NASCAR’s Loop Data, but was scored inside the top-15 for 16 of the 44 laps that he completed on-track.
“I’m sure there are a lot of drivers that would like to have a chance to try NASCAR,” said Räikkönen. “It’s not very easy, so maybe it will open some doors in the future for more chances to try and get more Europeans into the sport.”
According to Justin Marks, owner of Trackhouse Racing and the PROJECT91 program, Räikkönen is scheduled to visit the North Carolina shop in the days and weeks leading to his return to NASCAR, but there are no test sessions planned for the former F1 competitor.
“When we announced Kimi last year I said he was the global superstar I had in mind when we created PROJECT91. I think you saw the fan reception across the world and Kimi’s performance in the car was proof of the concept. Kimi’s following is massive and it’s great for NASCAR, Trackhouse plus I think Kimi really enjoys our racing.”